Gas Prices Expected To Rise During Ride Transit Week - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Gas Prices Expected To Rise During Ride Transit Week

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Public transportation systems across Iowa are kicking off Ride Transit Week, which is designed to promote taking the bus. Meanwhile, national oil analysts say gas prices are likely going to rise to new highs for the year in the US if recent, escalated violence in Iraq continues. Some local drivers say they're not happy about that. Others say they hope it will mean fewer cars on the road.

"I guess we just have to put up with it," one driver said. "Not so much we can do as an individual."

Analysts say with conflict, production is a concern, and oil prices have already increased by 2% since Thursday. Some people say they're skeptical that Iraq's situation would affect local pumps so quickly. Still, analysts say nationally, there might be a $0.20 increase within the next couple of weeks.

"Cuts into my pay," said Robert Shemwell, who heads to the pump around twice per week. "My living part. I live on a fixed income, so it's kind of hard sometimes."

Some say they're concerned for service industries like Meals on Wheels.

"That's very, very hard on folks that do rely on transportation to get meals or get to doctor appointments, or whatever the case may be," said Jo Nicholson, who works in the fitness and wellness industry.

Although not everyone would be able to switch from driving a car to taking the bus when gas prices rise, Ride Transit Week encourages those who can to do so.

"I'm very for public transport, and riding bikes and walking," Nicholson said.

According to Iowa Quad Cities Transit, statewide, almost 30 million people used public transportation last year. In Bettendorf, ridership increased more than 30% from eight years ago. In Davenport, there has been around a 45% rise.

"I am all about people being more active and either riding their bike or having to walk just a little bit to get to a bus stop or something," Nicholson said.

While there are still no regular buses on Sundays and most holidays in the Quad Cities Area, routes have expanded over the years. With less congestion on the roads, Ride Transit Week representatives say taking the bus is good for both the environment and your pocket, especially when gas prices are on the rise. Organizers encourage everyone to ride public transit this week, especially Thursday June 19, 2014, for the nation's ninth annual "Dump the Pump Day."

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