Prices at the gas pump can seem brutal – especially after last year when the cost of staying at home fell to its lowest level in 15 years due to lack of demand when ordering COVID-19.
One of those oddities last year was that the average price of gasoline in Missouri remained below $ 2 a gallon for just over 300 consecutive days, said Nick Chabarria, spokesperson for the AAA.
“It is then difficult to compare the prices with today’s prices,” he said.
The national average price of regular gasoline on Wednesday was $ 3.07, down from $ 2.05 a year ago. The average gas price was $ 2.76 in Missouri, up from $ 1.79 a year ago and $ 2.86 in Kansas, down from $ 1.81 a year ago, according to AAA gas prices – Website.
Gasoline consumption in Kansas City averaged $ 2.75, down from $ 1.84 the year before. Across the state border in Kansas City, Kansas, the average price of gasoline was $ 2.86, up $ 1.87 from the same period last year.
Since the sharp rise at the start of the year, prices have flattened, Chabarria said. AAA expects prices to stay close to current levels this summer, in part due to increased overseas oil production. But the hurricane season could affect refineries on the Gulf Coast.
As prices return to what was typical before the pandemic, there will be a sticker shock for some. But there are ways to ease the pain from the pump.
Here are some alternative transportation options in Kansas City:
Zero fare for RideKC buses
One of the best ways to reduce the strain on your wallet is to take public transportation. Getting on a RideKC bus is free.
“It’s not just about flipping a switch and saying it’s all free,” said Robbie Makinen, general manager of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority. “We went methodically and strategically to zero tariff.
Four years ago, RideKC began offering “zero fares” to Kansas City area veterans. Next are free rides for high school juniors and seniors, followed by safety net providers such as domestic violence shelters.
“When COVID happened it obviously made sense for us to go down to zero regionally due to fewer touchpoints and it was safer,” he said.
Since the introduction of zero fare, RideKC has improved its safety on buses.
“Eighty-five percent of all incidents we’ve ever had with a vehicle were due to a dispute over a rate box – over $ 1.50,” Makinen said.
When the pandemic broke, most transportation companies across the country saw passenger numbers drop by 20 to 25 percent, he said. RideKC with its free fare has seen a drop in ridership of just under 60%. The number of drivers is currently around 80%.
“Of course it makes a difference, and it makes a difference for people who need it most,” said Makinen, who added that it could save some people $ 1,500 to $ 2,000 a year.
“That US $ 1.50 goes much further outside of our rate than here.”
The easiest way to plan a trip is to use the transit app or the ridekc.org website, Makinen said. People can also call 816-221-0660. RideKC has also produced a video to teach people how to drive.
Kansas City Bicycle Rental
You don’t need to own a bicycle to visit Kansas City. BikeWalkKC has partnered with communities across the metro area to provide the RideKC bike service to travelers.
In Kansas City, North Kansas City, Johnson County, Wyandotte County, Kansas City, Kansas, and Lenexa, approximately 500 e-bikes and classic bikes are available through the Bike Share program.
“E-bikes are obviously a newer cooling technology, but really a great option as they are extremely efficient at moving people around town,” said Eric Vaughan, Bike Share director for BikeWalkKC. “There is good data that electric bikes are the most efficient vehicle on the road.”
E-bikes allow the cyclist to significantly expand the range of their rides with less effort.
“We see a lot of trips to grocery stores,” Vaughan said. “We have seen trips for people using bicycles to get vaccinated (COVID-19). We see people going to polling stations on bikes and going to and from work. “
The average speed of e-bikes is between 15 and 18 mph. This works out to 9 to 12 miles per hour for a beginner on a regular bike.
“In addition to the speed, there is also less effort with e-bikes,” Vaughan said. “I don’t call it a sweat bike.”
It costs $ 149 for annual members, which includes no activation fees and up to 80 minutes of free travel per day. Optional 30- and 90-day subscriptions are available for $ 39 and $ 99, respectively. Each membership has no activation fees and up to 80 minutes of free driving per day.
Pay-per-view rates are $ 1 unlockable and 15 cents per minute for RideKC EBikes, RideKC Lenexa, RideKC KCK and JCPRD Bike.
RideKC Bike, the classic bike, the rate per minute is 10 cents.
A 24-hour pass is also available for $ 15, giving you unlimited rides for up to four hours at a time. Additional minutes are billed at the same rate as for pay-per-view journeys.
To ride, you need to download the RideKC Bike app on your phone.
The RideKC network does a good job of providing multiple modes of transportation to users, Vaughan said.
“Buses and bicycles are probably the two most popular and reliable alternative modes of transportation in the Kansas City area,” he said. “Those who want to contribute as much as possible to protecting the environment and reducing everyday gasoline costs will find the bus and bicycle the right choice. “
Bird and SPIN scooters
Although scooters are primarily used for recreation, they can be a valid transportation option for some. Bird and SPIN currently offer scooters that can be used in parts of the metro area.
Bird scooters cost $ 1 and 39 cents per minute with a minimum of $ 3.50 plus tax. There is a charge of 50 cents in Kansas City. Day passes are priced at $ 14.99 for unlimited rides up to 30 minutes each way. Monthly Unlock Passes are available for $ 4.99 for unlimited free unlocks. Download the app here.
SPIN scooters cost $ 1 to start and 39 cents per minute plus taxes and fees. Unlimited travel passes cost $ 6.99 for 1 hour, $ 10.99 for 2 hours, and $ 19.99 for 24 hours. Download his app here.
BikeWalkKC ran a year-long pilot project offering scooters as part of the RideKC fleet and quickly discovered that they were primarily used for leisure travel.
“They were considerably shorter, so most people stayed within a few blocks,” Vaughan said. “This is one of the reasons why we decided not to continue the pilot program with them, because they weren’t really a real transport component and so there was no argument to cut the trips in. car.
After reviewing the data, BikeWalkKC decided to discontinue this program.
Find a carpooling or a bike buddy
For more than 40 years, the Mid-America Regional Council’s RideshareKC program for commuters has combined them with a variety of transportation options.
“We now know that about 83% of people drive to work alone each day,” said Karen Clawson, program manager at RideshareKC.
For those who currently drive alone and potentially struggling with gas prices, there are a variety of modes of transportation available that can help lower their transportation costs and are more environmentally friendly, she said. declared.
The RideshareKC.org website provides information on the various options in the Kansas City area.
RideshareKC also offers a matchmaking service that pairs commuters with carpooling, carpools, public transport, and even friends on bicycles.
An added benefit for commuters who regularly take the bus, carpool, van or bike to work is the Guaranteed Home Trip Program, which allows for two free trips home in the event of an emergency or emergency. disease. Registration for the program is independent of the carpooling service and can be done online.
The program reimburses commuters for this emergency trip. Providing this benefit removes a huge barrier preventing people from switching from driving alone to alternative modes of transportation to get to work, Clawson said.
Carpoolers are brought together and encouraged to discuss among themselves how they will share the costs. One way is to share who’s driving. So if each carpool has a car, they take turns driving. Other options include providing the driver with cash for fuel or buying a full tank every now and then.
Currently, the service is focused on commuting, but the matching system has the ability to match drivers at events such as concerts or sporting events. Due to the pandemic and the cancellation of events, this feature has not been activated.
RideKC Streetcar offers an option in the city center
For those who live in downtown Kansas City, there’s the RideKC Streetcar, which offers free rides as it runs 3.5 miles between the Crown Center and the River Market.
The KC Streetcar Authority activated the second phase of its COVID-19 reactivation plan in late April to respond to growing downtown activity and passenger demand.
This included the extension of opening hours from Monday to Thursday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 6 a.m. to midnight, Saturday from 7 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The increase in hours of operation was a direct response to downtown activity levels, improving weather conditions, declining positive COVID-19 cases, and improving access to vaccines, the KC Streetcar Authority said at the time.
People who do not live in the city center can take advantage of free rides by parking along the route and taking the tram to their destination.
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Robert A. Cronkleton gets up very early in the morning to bring readers the latest news on crime, transportation and the dawn weather. He has worked with The Star since 1987 and now contributes data reporting and video editing. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rockhurst College, where he studied communications and computer science.