DECKERVILLE, Mich. (WNEM) – Pain at the pump hits another industry as a company operating in central Michigan raised prices to offset rising costs.
“I expected it to go up one day, but almost doubling overnight or in the space of a month is a pretty hard thing to convey very quickly,” said Michael Keinath, owner of the K Team.Biz, a bus rental company.
Gasoline prices hit everyone, especially limo buses and specialized transport.
Keinath has a fleet of 17 buses, including perimeter seats and charter buses.
“All we’ve done so far is a small price increase. We’re really hoping it picks up, but it’s been dragging here longer than expected,” Keinath said.
Keinath is based in Deckerville but operates in central Michigan.
It raised its prices by $40 for weddings and $100 for down trips.
“The last time fuel went to $4, which was a real crisis for us, it seemed like the bus industry was busier because people were finding the value in ridesharing,” Keinath said.
While people are doing it now, the rising costs outweigh all the gains.
“In the position that we’re in, we do a lot of weddings and stuff. So some of that stuff is already booked and paid for. And I guess at this point we’re trying to absorb it because I don’t I’m not a big fan of calling these people back and saying, “Here’s a fuel surcharge to add to your wedding expenses,” Keinath said.
Gasoline prices are just one of the factors weighing on the company.
“You want good, high quality drivers who do a good job for you, reliable and safe and have a price these days because people have really increased the value of what they’re worth, and so we’ve almost doubled what we were paying at one point,” Keinath said.
Two years ago, Keinath was paying drivers between $15 and $20 an hour. Now it’s $35 an hour.
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