Mass transit has been the answer for a lot of people struggling with high gas prices. Here in Wilmington, Wave Transit has seen an increase in riders, but there may not be enough riders to cover the soaring cost of diesel. Wave Transit assistant director Arlanda Rouse said rider-ship has increased in the past few months, but it hasn't done much to help the bus system pay for the amount of diesel it takes to operate. "Fuel prices are rather expensive. We are approximately being charged around four dollars a gallon for diesel, and we buy 30 thousand gallons of diesel a month, so they are taking a toll on us right now," said Rouse. Wave is facing some major budget problems from rising diesel prices. Its budget was set last July when diesel prices were below $2.50 a gallon. Now, almost a year later, the price of fuel is more than $4. There are a few cost saving options on the table including upping fares, cutting back on routes, and even selling advertising. "Buses aren't the most fuel efficient vehicles out there. We are looking at some options --possibly switching into bio-diesel, we may start looking into purchasing hybrid buses in the next few years, but right now we need to have a short term solution to this problem," said Rouse. Wave Transit is getting some much needed help. Wilmington's city council voted unanimously to give the bus line $132,000 dollars to help cover costs. Wave hopes cutting corners will help make up the rest.
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