Capital Area Transit System chief executive officer John Denman said fuel costs are the culprit in an expected $500,000 deficit this year, which could grow to $1 million if diesel fuel prices continue to climb. The system in East Baton Rouge Parish budgeted for diesel fuel at $2.60 per gallon, but the current price is $3.60 per gallon.

The system is considering a number of savings efforts, including combining low-ridership routes, seeking an exemption to state fuel taxes, and asking local universities to pay higher fuel adjustment fees as permitted under the agreements that allows college student to ride buses for free. Denman said there are no plans to increase the bus fare.

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