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Fuel cost siphoning away budget

Increasing fuel prices have impacted Kitsap Transit, but not to the point where a corresponding fare increase is on the radar.

“The rising fuel costs certainly have an effect,” said Kitsap Transit service development director John Clauson. “We’re paying about $1.65 a gallon today, at a time when we budgeted for $1 a gallon.”

A year ago, Kitsap Transit was paying between 65 and 70 cents per gallon.

Clauson said the service will correct and revise its budget in the very near future due to the gas price increase.

Kitsap Transit uses 15,000 gallons each week, or about 800,000 gallons a year.

Clauson said he expects ridership to increase along with the price of gas, as people will seek an alternative to driving their own car. But any ridership improvement will not accommodate the gas price increase due to rider subsidies.

Ridership has gone up in recent months, but Clauson said it could not be attributable to any one factor.

”As fuel prices continue to climb, people will be looking for alternative ways to travel,” Clauson said.

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