UP transit authorities face negative impact from high gas prices

Marquette County Transit Authority and Alger Transit Authority both say the rise in fuel costs has affected their budgets
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 3:53 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - Regular everyday drivers have not been the only ones who have felt pain at the pump. Services like Marquette County Transit Authority (MCTA) and Alger Transit Authority (ATA) have also felt the effects.

MCTA Executive Director Bill Geller said their budget has taken a hit.

“Typically, we budget for a higher fuel cost every year, but we didn’t plan on fuel going up this much. So obviously, it does affect us with our operating costs,” said Geller.

According to ATA Executive Director Paige Eaton, their buses traveled a little over 38,000 miles last month consuming 1,043 gallons of diesel and 2,311 gallons of regular. That is equal to an approximate $14,500 in fuel costs, which is more than double their gas bill.

When it comes to routes, Eaton said, “Several months ago, we set up transportation schedules for popular outlying areas and try to adhere to this schedule the best we can. We have provided our drivers with tips/tricks on how to conserve gas.”

Geller said his transit authority had seen a 15% increase in passengers over the last month and said the buses are under a strict maintenance schedule.

“Our bigger buses are probably nine years old like three of them,” Geller said. “The rest are within three years old and newer. There’s not much more we can do than what we’re already doing that would give us better fuel mileage.”

Both authorities said they have not increased rider fare rates, although Eaton said there was the “exception of adding a fare for anyone needing a ride that is 20+ miles within Alger County being $12.00″

For more information about schedules, visit Marquette County Transit Authority at marq-tran.com and Alger Transit Authority at altranbus.com.

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