by Wyatt Goolsby
MIDLAND/ODESSA - A booming economy means expanding transportation services across the Basin. However, with more options, which is a better fit for you? Thursday, NewsWest 9 compared the EZ Rider public bus service to a personal vehicle.
Every Monday through Saturday, Midland resident Liza Barr cruises around the Tall City on the EZ Rider.
"I actually ride everywhere," Barr said. "I go to work. I take the bus to the library a lot. I take it to the grocery store, Wal-Mart, everywhere. Basically, saves on gas."
But does Barr really save?
When it comes to cost value, which one crosses the finish line first - EZ Rider or the car in your driveway?
An EZ Rider pass cost 36 dollars a month. Even with gas prices plummeting, you can expect to spend at least 60 dollars a month filling up your tank.
"It's a lot cheaper than driving a car and saves on insurance," Barr explained.
However, for managers at All-American Chevrolet in Odessa, owning a car is about having something to show for your money.
"The cost of operating the vehicle isn't necessarily as high as one might think, and compared to some of the other modes of transportation out there, it can make it economical for the customer," Eric Louvin, General Manager at All-American Chevrolet in Odessa, said.
They say time is money, and when it comes to the clock, which is more convenient?
"If you're aware of the schedule, you can pick up any schedule and then ride our service," EZ Rider General Manager Edward Esparza, explained.
Midland and Odessa residents can catch a ride on EZ Rider six days a week, from about 6:15 AM until 7 in the evening.
"They're on time, I missed it once, but they backtracked and came and got me," Richard Flournoy, who uses the Midland EZ rider, said. "I thought that was pretty nice."
That, however, doesn't compare to the mobility and peace of mind of being able to pick up your keys and go anywhere, anytime.
"Everywhere that you go, you're probably looking at least two hours to get somewhere, whether it be to Lubbock, to Abilene, even to hop in the vehicle and go to Dallas-Fort Worth," Louvin added.
And what about reliability? Which can you count on?
"Our service is reliable," Esparza said about the EZ Rider. "We are on a fixed route. We pull out of our transfers in both cities at 15 minutes after the hour and return at ten minutes after each hour."
"I think that reliability is what made truck sales so good here in West Texas, especially with Chevrolet because of the durability and the reliability of the vehicle," Louvin said.
When it comes to getting from point A to point B, It really depends on you and your priorities to decide which is the better set of wheels. But for Liza Barr, the choice is clear.
"Even if I had a vehicle I'd take the bus back and forth to work because it saves wear and tear on your vehicle and mileage," Barr said.
"So far so good," Flournoy added.