gas prices

Record Gas Prices Threatening Transportation Services for Elderly and Disabled People

NBC Universal, Inc.

Daily record-breaking gas prices are taking a toll on so many people and businesses in San Diego, including transportation services tailored for elderly and disabled people.

During his 12 years doing the accounting and driving for his wife’s company, Care 4U Mobility, Willie Wahba says he’s built relationships with their passengers.

With soaring gas prices, and a base fee of $40 one-way and $3 per mile charge, Wahba says his San Diego-area company is trying to fight off having to add a fuel surcharge.

“When you have to make a choice between food, or doctor’s appointments, or going out to see a friend or hair appointment, it hurts everyone. Those are people with fixed income and don’t have the means or income to see a fluctuation in cost of transportation," explained Wahba.

Gas statements from the company show they filled up two of their three vans in December and January at an average price of $ 1,073. This month, they’ve already spent $920 and there’s still 11 days left in the billing cycle.

“It hurts and we're getting squeezed everywhere. Don't know how we'll be able to continue like this," said Angie Wahba, owner of Care 4U Mobility.

Jewish Family Service has the largest volunteer transportation program in San Diego County with 150 volunteer drivers servicing 45 zip codes across the county. As gas prices continue to creep up, there’s concern of a tipping point for services and drivers.

"We provide a reimbursement, but if it doesn’t keep up with rising costs, it could impact our ability to have volunteers,” said Kristine Stensberg, Senior Director of Aging, Nutrition and Transportation for Jewish Family Service.

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