Surge in gas prices having impact of City of Fresno's vehicles

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Just as surging gas prices have many families feeling pain at the pump, the added costs are also having a significant impact on the city of Fresno's fleet of vehicles.

Fresno Director of Transportation Joe Vargas says the city operates a fleet of more than 2,500 vehicles -- that includes FAX buses, maintenance trucks, fire engines and police cars.

The city buys its gas in advance while officials continuously monitor increases in fuel costs.

The department has an operating budget of about $7.7 million but has plans to soon ask the city for more money to cover the rise in inflation.

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"The only thing that we're focusing on is making sure that the budget is adjusted to address those increases," Vargas said. "We're planning on asking our council for an additional $1.3 million to try and cover those expenses."

While the city looks at fuel saving methods, officials say there is only so much they can do when it comes to scaling back the use of vehicles.

"We have to put out service every day, whether that's our police department, fire department, solid waste, our buses need to go out, we have a lot of light equipment used at our parks," Vargas said. "So that's a pretty big challenge for us."

The city vehicles are powered with gasoline and diesel -- but also lower emission compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas.

The city has also invested in some electric cars and electric buses -- with plans to buy more down the road.

In an effort to get more people to use public transportation, the city has lowered FAX bus fares to $1.
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