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City transit system not impacted much by gas prices rising

Posted at 9:55 PM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 23:55:36-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Sun Tran operates 237 buses around the Tucson area. As gas prices continue to break records, the transit system has no plans of changing their routes.

Transit Operator, Rhett Crowninshield says, "We don’t have plans to cut any routes presently or to cut any services, they will remain the same.”

Of the 237 buses operating, about half of them are electric. "On the electric side, our pricing as it relates to fuel has not been affected at all," says Crowninshield.

He adds, "We’re paying approximately a dollar per gallon for CNG and there's a tax credit we get from the federal government that’s 50 cents per gallon so that lowers our price per gallon to under a dollar. So as you can imagine, that greatly positively impacts our fuel pricing and allows us to not impact our operations.”

But the other half of their buses run on diesel. Crowninshield says that's where things are impacted. "We are expecting to be paying 4 dollars per gallon for diesel," says Crowninshield.

As a long-term solution, Sun Tran plans to eventually make the switch to all electric buses, but that goal will take years to accomplish. Crowninshield says, "we can order approximately 15 to 20 buses per year.”

Due to the pandemic, fares for the transit system are waived.