Ride-On struggling with high fuel costs
While inflated gas prices have clearly caused frustration for everyday drivers, rising costs have also made operations difficult for local transport organization, Ride-On.
“Our monthly fuel went from $50,000 to $86,000 per month in May,” said Mark Shaffer, general manager of Ride-On.
Since 1993, the nonprofit organization has worked to provide more transportation options for San Luis Obispo County residents. Their drivers cover a wide range of transportation services for veterans, disabled, seniors, and more.
However, as the average cost of a gallon of gas in San Luis Obispo County has soared to nearly $6.50, Shaffer says his team may not be able to sustain itself for more than six month.
“We hope the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments can help us,” Shaffer added.
He says much of Ride-On’s revenue comes from contracted government entities and he’s been in talks with them to hopefully receive an allowance to help offset their expenses.
In addition, the group is having difficulty retaining its drivers.
“There are places that will hire people at $24, $25 an hour, give them a $2,000 signing bonus and increased salaries. It’s just hard to get people to work at this current point. “said Ride-On Director of Operations Joe Rossini. KSBY.
Rossini says the 85 vans in their unit provide essential rides to people across SLO County and they plan to continue those services for as long as they can.
On average, their drivers provide more than 290,000 affordable rides to the community each year, and the Ride-On team still has no intention of increasing costs for the people they serve.
“Oh, it gives you the proudest feeling to serve the needs of all these people. You wouldn’t believe it,” Rossini continued.
Ride-On says they will also begin looking for additional county and state grants that may help ease their situation.