Omaha Metro sees more bus riders; officials say high gas prices may play a role

Omaha buses are seeing a surge in riders following an increase in gas prices
Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 6:13 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Some people across the metro are changing the way they get around.

Metro Transit says they are seeing a big spike in riders taking the bus to and from work.

“More people have been on the bus and going where they need to go,” said Paris Hoffmann, Metro rider.

Omaha Rapid Bus Transit (ORBT) and Metro lines have been busy so far this month. In February they averaged nearly 44,000 rides a week. That number is already up 15% just in the first week of March.

Officials at Metro say they think they know the reason why.

“We think it’s probably related to gas prices,” says Lauren Cencic, Metro Transit CEO.

Omaha Metro Transit is seeing an increase in riders, potentially due to the higher gas prices

Paris Hoffmann says he’s been riding the bus for about three years now. He says high gas prices have him taking the bus more often than he usually does.

“It’s because of the gas prices. The gas prices right now are outrageous,” said Hoffmann.

Hoffmann is certainly not alone. Metro’s CEO Lauren Cencic says ORBT’s Dodge line has been the busiest so far this month.

She says the increase in ridership is on par with what Metro typically sees when gas prices go up.

Cencic say says she’s not sure what the next few months will look like but she says the bus is always a good option if you are trying to save some cash.

“Transit can really form a lifeline and provide a service for individuals who maybe do have a car and can choose to drive when it makes the most sense but there are other times when riding the bus is a better economic or personal decision for them.”

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