All Points Transit started offering city bus service in Montrose last August. Since then, the price of gas has shot up. Bus drivers say that has more people getting on board.
"You get to know your passengers and all of us know most of them by name," driver Della Ware explains. She's been driving for All Points Transit since last October. She's heard a lot about gas prices lately. "I know our ridership has increased from people talking about the gas increase."
Della drives one of three city routes in Montrose. A fourth line goes between Montrose and Olathe. Buses run Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. until about 7:00 p.m. Between the four routes, All Points Transit serves about one hundred people per day.
"We have right around ninety stops here in the area. Convenient stops such as the library, Mesa State, the pool, the Justice Center, Wal-mart, Target, J.C. Penney's and a lot of other areas," All Points Transit Executive Director, Terri Wilcox explains.
Daily and monthly rates make the bus an attractive alternative to buying gas.
"You can buy a pass for the whole month for $25 or if you are a person with a disability or a senior or a youth or student you can buy a pass for $12.50."
All points Transit has grown by leaps and bounds over the last year. The service started more than thirty years ago with volunteers using one car to help seniors get around.
"We now have thirty vehicles, thirty-seven employees and we are a tri-county operation," Wilcox says.
In addition to the bus routs that serve Montrose and Olathe, All Points Transit also offers Dial-A-Ride service for seniors and people with disabilities living in Montrose and Delta counties as well as the Norwood area of San Miguel County.
"We serve seniors, those sixty-plus, and people with disabilities and we go door-to-door," Wilcox says of the Dial-A-Ride service.
Although the price of gas may boost ridership, it is taking a toll on the privately owned non-profit.
"If it stays the same it will be significant for us and may raise our fuel costs between $40,000 and $52,000 thousand for the year," Wilcox says.
But so far, there are no plans to raise rates.
"We are always looking for grants through foundations and we are definitely going to have to increase our local donations and local fundraising," Wilcox says.
For more information on routes and rates, please click on the associated link