Metro Has Locked In Pain At The Pump

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Speaking of Metro finances, it looks like the people who buy fuel for the buses have locked in a price of $3.55 a gallon until October of next year.

The buy was completed in "midsummer," according to an e-mail from agency spokeswoman Raequel Roberts, when diesel averaged close to $5 a gallon. METRO's buy might have seemed like a deal at the time, but diesel prices have dropped to about $2.85 a gallon.

"We base our fuel purchase decisions on the need for budget certainty and...it would be folly to establish and live within a budget if we bought at market prices from month to month," Roberts writes. "No one predicted in August, when [regular] gas was $4 a gallon, that it would be $1.59 today."

Buyers guessed low last year and, according to the agency's figures, saved about $17 million on fuel costs. Two years earlier, the agency saved about $3 million. Weird thing is, in the years that fuel buys weren't so great, Metro doesn't list any losses but lists savings as "$0.0."

Either way, compared to the rest of us, Metro, which burns about 14 million gallons a year, is paying out its ass for fuel right now. Of course, $3.55 a gallon could seem like a bargain this time next year.

-- Paul Knight

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.