More People Using Public Transportation

By Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9   

ODESSA - The popularity of the E-Z Rider buses have continued to grow since it got started back in 2003. This year their growth is at 22.5%. When fares only cost one dollar, it's a great way to save money on gas.

"The ridership sees that as a benefit to them because they're not having to pay that cost to drive their vehicle to whatever destination they're going," Edward Esparza, General Manager for E-Z Rider, said.

More than half of the passengers ride the buses 5 to 6 days a week.

"That's reflected on a lot of the need for those individuals to get to their destinations," Esparza said.

Because so many people are now using E-Z Rider, they've decided to buy 12 more supersized buses from the money they're making.

"Several of the riders use the bus system for going to work - approximately 36%," Esparza said. "A lot of the riders go to shopping - that's around 32%. So there's needs for the public to use the service, and we're seeing the result of that."

E-Z Rider has never raised their prices, but with such high prices at the pump. That may change.

"We might consider a rate increase," Esparza said. "There might have to be some time changes not knowing where the price of fuel is going."

They say business is booming. The buses make 168 trips each day.

"There is a definite need for this service for Midland and Odessa," Esparza said.