LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Gas prices are continuing to shatter records alongside the record-breaking temperatures across the Natural State. Thursday, the price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas rose to $4.00 a gallon for the very first time.
Southwest of the Little Rock airport, one gas station is even charging $4.29 a gallon. That may be extreme, but people are still buying gas there because they need it to drive to and from work. Or do they?
Some people have rethought how they travel because of prices. Erma Dadmon moved out from behind the wheel into a bus seat two years ago when gas was more than a dollar cheaper than it is now.
Dadmon said, “That is what made me decide to ride transportation because it was cheaper for me to ride the bus than it was to put gas in the car for the whole week.”
She went from spending $70 a week on gas to $40 a month with a bus pass, and she’s recommended her daughter switch too to save.
“She’s spending over $100 a week in gas, just in order for her to go to work and she can’t afford to go to work and home,” Dadmon admitted.
According to Rock Region Metro, Dadmon is not alone on the ride. Becca Green, Rock Region Metro Director of Public Engagement, said the service saw a 41% increase in fixed-route bus and micro transit ridership between February to March.
That could be seasonal, but in one month the average price of gas in Arkansas has gone up 30 cents. It’s gone up 16 cents in one week. Dadmon says if the prices went back down, she’d get off of a bus seat and back into her own car.
“Riding the bus you have to wait so many hours, time, maybe 30 minutes for a bus to arrive, transfer, but if the gas prices went down, I’d be able to drive myself and get home at a certain time,” Dadmon explained. “If the gas prices went down, yeah. It would be quicker, a lot easier for me to drive, but with the gas prices as they is now, no. I would take the transportation.”
Rock Region Metro said, “We do not anticipate raising fares this year in relation to gas prices.” Gas stations are unlikely to follow suit.