Transit services, such as local taxis and bus companies, help to reduce traffic in Mount Pleasant and save students money for gas in their own vehicles.
“We are actually providing ride services to about 11 percent of commuting students,” said Dennis Adams, Isabella County Transportation Commission director of motions and public relations. “It might not sound like a large number, but if you can take about 10 percent of the cars off the road and put the people onto a transit service, it significantly reduces the amount of cars that the police departments have to deal with.”
One thing students forget is how city transportation services have issues of their own in determining how to budget with the constant changes in gas prices.
“We’ve done fairly well estimating both the growth and need of the amount of the gas that we’re going to use over longer terms,” Adams said. “Some years we’ve had to make more shifts of funds than others and some years we’ve actually projected under that amount and haven’t seen the increases that we thought we might.”
The bus company uses reserve funds in the budgeting process to cover the rising cost of fuel. Sometimes this means sacrificing new tires in order to buy gas.
Part of the cost of attendance for students at Central Michigan University is used toward the shuttle services placed around campus.
“CMU is also a part of the shuttle service. They put in money every year to cover the cost of their students, faculty and staff to be able to use the service,” Adams said.
Commuting students who live in apartment complexes most likely have a vehicle, but with the cost of gas on the rise, some might use this service to save gas money in the long run.
Using the ICTC Bus Services, a traveler can get from one end of Mount Pleasant to another for a couple of dollars.
Students can also use taxi services to get around Mount Pleasant or travel to another city. The taxi companies have been aware of the rising costs in fuel, and have in the past added a dollar to their fare to cover the extra cost.
“It seems like every two years everybody ups it another dollar, so this year it has gone up between all the companies and that’s helped in absorbing the cost of the fuel increases and with the insurance premiums that we have to pay,” said Brian Lombard, Chippewa Cabs director of marketing, motions and sales for the non-emergency medical division.
According to Lombard, most of the taxi services in Mount Pleasant have agreed to $4 per person this year.
Chippewa Cabs charges per mile when the destination is out of city limits.