Transportation services experience different impacts with gas prices
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - AAA has named Wichita Falls one of the top five cities with the least expensive gas prices in Texas.
Right now, the average price at the pump in Wichita Falls sits at $3.92. AAA reported the statewide gas price average is $3.90 for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel. That price is four cents less than from Thursday last week.
While gas prices are low in Wichita Falls right now, it’s something that could change in the future. Especially for those transporting people across Texoma and even consumer goods across the country if gas prices were to increase.
Rolling Plains Management, owner of Sharp Lines Rural Transportation, picks up those living in rural communities for doctor’s appointments and said they haven’t been impacted by high gas prices just yet. However, it’s definitely something they are keeping an eye on. While trucker Richard Driver said he’s in the last few weeks he’s already been seeing those fuel spikes at the pump.
“I do not anticipate rising fuel costs to impact our number of rides at this point,” said Debra Thomas, executive director of Rolling Plains Management.
Sharp Lines Rural Transportation used their 90 vehicle fleet to pick up over 1,000 people that were elderly, disabled, or lacked transportation of their own last year living in nine rural counties across Texoma.
“My operation costs is about $3 million a year and my fuel was 200,000. My fuel represents 7% of my budget, so if it goes up obviously it’ll make it harder but we’ll adjust something else,” said Thomas.
The 24 passenger buses have 25-gallon tanks and drivers with Sharp Lines said prices they’ve seen at the pump recently range from $4 for diesel and $3 for regular. While they are low at the moment, if they rise down the road they will try everything to make sure everyone still gets a ride.
“We will find a way to make it work. We will find the money to transport people,” said Thomas.
And Driver said gas prices vary from state to state.
“In California, it cost me $777.77 and usually it costs about $600 to fill it up normally but in Texas and Oklahoma, it’s not as bad,” said Driver.
He said he’s having to fill up his tank every 3,000 miles and while the company he drives for pays for his fuel, he still knows the importance of being on the road no matter what.
“It’s really important, without us truckers you wouldn’t have anything in the supermarkets or the grocery stores or any kind of store really,” said Driver.
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