Commuters get creative to beat gas prices in Rhode Island
WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) — From opting out of filling up by switching to electric vehicles to changing the way they travel altogether and switching to public transportation, Rhode Islanders have been finding new ways to commute to work as gas prices continue to rise.
“Now that gas is going up, I do see a lot of people coming over here and buying electric cars,” said Andrew T., who has been driving electric vehicles for the past few years. “It’s just because the prices of gas keep going up and it’s much less expensive to fill than it is a gasoline car.”
Several free charging stations exist in Rhode Island, while at home, Andrew said it costs him about ten dollars to fill up. It’s not just gas that’s cheaper: there are no oil changes required with electric vehicles, and brake pads need to be changed less often according to the Rhode Island Department of Energy.
“The electric transition is on the way. This will accelerate it in the sense that people are looking for electric vehicles,” said Sen. Jack Reed.
Recent legislation would require all vehicle manufacturers in Rhode Island to sell only electric vehicles by the year 2030, which could contribute to lowering gas prices across the state.
It’s not just private vehicles going electric.
Rhode Island Public Transit Authority’s chief of strategic advancement, Greg Nordin, said passengers will soon be riding an electric bus as the transportation service transitions to a fully electric fleet.
“When this is done, 1 in 5 riders will be riding a fully electric bus at RIPTA,” he said.
This comes as the public transportation service has seen a 6% increase in riders just over the past month as riders take advantage of local park and rides to save cash on gas.
“We are seeing a pretty substantive increase in riders right now,” said Nordin.
Will fare prices be going up for riders amidst soaring fuel charges?
According to Nordin, it’s a “last resort option” that is not currently under consideration.
“If we transition to green energy technologies and we’re using less gas and less oil in the first place, that means there’s more supply in the market. That in and of itself is gonna bring prices down,” said Rep. Jim Langevin.