By Alyssa Schnugg
The average price of a gallon of regular gas nationwide hit $5 today, according to GasBuddy.
In Oxford, while not much better, the average price of a gallon of regular gas is a bit lower than the national average at $4.57 a gallon.
With no immediate relief in sight, thanks to the high demand for summer travel and a shortage of crude oil due to the war in Ukraine, high gas prices are straining most household budgets.
Visit Gasbuddy.com to view gas prices around Oxford.
In Oxford, there is one way to reduce the amount of money one spends on gas – take a bus.
At this time, riding an Oxford University Transit bus is free, thanks to funds provided by the Mississippi Department of Transportation for COVID-19 relief.
“The (OUT) commissioners will decide in September if they want to continue with the zero fare,” said OUT General Manager Donna Zampella.
There are several routes that cover almost all of Oxford, whether you want to go to the Square, down West Jackson Avenue, Oxford Commons, North and South Lamar boulevards, University Avenue and just about anywhere in between.
Buses run from 6:30 a.m. until 10 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays.
“Transit is a public bus service and is not just for students. We have routes for most attractions, theaters, the city pool, restaurants and bars,” Zampella said. “We run a shuttle for the big tournament games at mTrade Park to the Square or Oxford Galleria on West Jackson Avenue.”
Buses are well sanitized throughout the day and deep cleaned each night.
All buses are equipped for ADA passengers; however, OUT also provides Paratransit Services that is available for ADA riders who are unable to walk to a bus stop.
“They can get an application for Paratransit by calling our office or coming by to pick one up,” Zampella said.
Zampella said the OUT fuel budget is “holding its own.”
“I have been in contact with MDOT for additional resources if we run into this problem; however, we don’t anticipate any cuts to the system,” she said.
OUT is spreading the word about Oxford’s transit system by holding public informational meetings.
On June 14, OUT representatives will be on hand at the Oxford Community Marker for Community Transportation Day where people can come and talk to OUT staff and learn more about the buses and routes.
On June 16, the Oxford-Lafayette County Retiree Attraction Program is inviting the public to learn more about OUT from 10 to 11:30 a.m. At the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce at 299 Jackson Avenue. Residents can learn what OUT has to offer, its routes and schedules.
For more information about OUT, or to view routes and bus schedules, visit OUT’s website, call 662-234-3540 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also download the Transloc app from the app store for both android or iPhone phones,
“People are also welcome to come to our office at 409 McElroy Drive and tour the facility and also learn about the routes and buses that are available,” Zampella said.