Record gas prices are forcing some Green Country drivers to find alternative means of transportation. One company in Owasso is helping by offering cheap rides. The News On 6's Chris Wright reports with gas prices in the Tulsa area averaging $3.40 on Monday, some people simply can't afford to get where they need to go.
In Owasso, those frustrated with fuel are hitching a ride.
Victor Castaldi, 89, is one of the nearly 40 people in Owasso who are now using Pelivan Transit daily. On Monday, he took the van to visit his daughter.
"They give good service. They're pleasant people to talk to. I've talked to them for quite a while now," said Owasso resident, Victor Castaldi.
"I think it's a great idea. Especially for people that don't drive and for the elderly who need a ride home, or just anyone," said Victor's daughter, Eileen Evington.
Started last December, Pelivan functions like your typical taxi service, except it's a lot cheaper. A one-way trip to anywhere in Owasso costs $1.75 for seniors and $2.00 for everyone else. It caters mostly to seniors, but as gas prices continue to soar, Pelivan has become increasingly appealing to commuters as well.
"We have citizens who told us if it wasn't for Pelivan, they couldn't get to work right now," said Community Development Director, Eric Wiles.
"What they say is always the same. Gas prices are going up; better to ride on someone else's dime than their own," said Milo Davis with Pelivan.
Milo Davis, who drives one of Pelivan's two vans, says the company is not out to make a profit. It's funded mostly by state and local grants. Ridership has grown rapidly. It has jumped from 200 people in January, to more than 700 in April. And with no relief in sight at the pump, Pelivan expects those numbers to continue to climb, along with gas prices.
"With the rise in prices and fuel, I guess we're here at the exact right time," said Davis.
There is a catch. If you need a ride to anywhere outside of Owasso, it will cost you an additional $1.00 per mile. Pelivan is also operating in Claremore, Vinita, Miami and Grove.