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The MATBUS has taken extra turns as people look for a cheaper way to get around town


FARGO, ND (Valley News Live) – Filling up your car’s gas tank is increasingly draining your wallet.

Today in Fargo, prices range from $3.65 at Costco to $3.89 at Holiday. Some have therefore turned to public transport in these difficult times.

“Historically we see an increase in passenger numbers when gas prices rise, obviously it becomes more economical to take public transport than to fill up your car with gas,” said the deputy director of the public transport at MATBUS Jordan Smith.

Smith recalls the last time gas prices looked that way was in 2008, when the transit system saw a roughly 12% increase in bus ridership.

Following this trend, about six weeks ago when gas prices started to rise, MATBUS saw about 19% more people in their bus seats.

“Trends increase when gasoline prices also increase,” he said.

Although the city buses are a bit fuller, there is still room for people celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

Smith says holidays don’t usually attract people to buses, but sober driving should be a priority.

“These people who die every year in motor vehicle crashes involving alcohol, they are our friends, they are our co-workers, they are our family,” said Lauren Bjork, head of the information program on the public security.

If the bus isn’t your speed, a Vision Zero program called ND Sober Ride is offering $10 off your Lyft ride from today through Monday.

“Impaired driving accidents are 100% preventable,” she said.

You can use the code “VZMARCH1” to redeem this voucher from your ride so there are safe options for a fun weekend.

“You’re more than welcome on any bus to get you where you need to be if you find yourself in a position where you can’t drive,” Smith said.

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