"You just can't beat that, saving the wear and tear on your car, gas and maintenance," Ramey said.
But Ramey and the others were left stranded when their driver, a UK employee, took a job elsewhere. The number of passengers dwindled until LexTran suspended the service.
"We couldn't get anyone to take over driving it (the van)," she said, adding that she now makes the trek down U.S. 27 in her own car. Despite recent attempts to reorganize the van pool, she has only found two people who are definitely interested.
LexTran employee Roger Damon said it will take at least six passengers to start a new Jessamine County van pool.
"The van just didn't continue, but I'd like to get another van put together," he said. "At this point, there aren't enough people interested in using the service to justify adding a van."
Having a new mayor and city administration in Lexington is also stalling the process, Damon said. The switch is requiring that his energy go elsewhere, instead of toward setting up new van pool leases.
"I'd love to get it going again," he said.
The cost for each passenger is based on the number of riders and mileage, and it covers insurance and maintenance. Passengers pay for the van, and the city or county is not responsible for anything.
But local governments would be responsible for funding a bus service between Jessamine and Lexington, an option that some in the area advocate. According to a 2005 survey, 54.2 percent of respondents said they supported an inter-county bus route, and 41.2 percent said they might use it.
In a plan proposed by LexTran, the bus would make 12 trips a day between Nicholasville's Main Street and the Fayette Mall area in Lexington.
LexTran has estimated the cost of the service at $377,938 annually, which includes operating costs and capital costs. According to the proposal, federal funding could provide up to 50 percent of the operating costs and up to 80 percent of the capital costs of the project, leaving the local government with an estimated $183,750 to fund in the 2008 fiscal year. That figure could jump to $192,938 the next year, and more than $200,000 the year after that.
Nicholasville and the Jessamine County Fiscal Court will discuss the possibility of funding the service at their July joint-government meeting, but Nicholasville Mayor Russ Meyer said because of the cost "it doesn't look favorable."
"It's going to be very expensive for us," Meyer said. "They want to charge us a huge amount to come down and service Jessamine County."
The city and fiscal court could split the cost, Meyer said, but said it "would be tough for both governments to take on."
Nicholasville and Jessamine County each committed $86,667 earlier this year to the school resource officer program with Jessamine County Schools.
For now, Ramey said she just hopes to get the van pool going again.
"This is a major issue in an area growing the way Jessamine County is growing," Ramey said. "It was so convenient, and I felt like we were at least trying to do our part in controlling the traffic and pollution."