Post by CMT Intern, Lisa Cagle:
There are many great reasons to use public transit, but one big reason is to save money. On June 19, 2014, public transportation services all across the country will be encouraging people to ride public transportation (instead of driving) and save money as they celebrate the 9th annual National Dump the Pump Day.
CMT promotes the benefits of public transit all year long because we know that public transportation is a vital resource to our region and a cornerstone of our local economy. National Dump the Pump Day allows us to also focus on the cost-savings to individual commuters when they use transit instead of driving.
When gas prices are high (and even when they’re not so high!), public transit can help you reduce fuel costs, maintenance costs associated with owning your own vehicle, parking costs, and the frustration of a congested commute. In fact, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) reports that a two-person household can save, on average, more than $10,174 a year by downsizing to one car.
Check out your potential savings at Metro Transit’s Dump the Pump Savings Calculator:
While over 60 percent of trips taken on public transportation in the U.S. are work commutes, you don’t have to use public transit only when commuting to work or going to a Cardinals game. MetroLink and MetroBuses serve a variety of popular summer venues and locations in the St. Louis area, including the Arch, the Missouri Botanical Garden, Grand Center, and the Muny, zoo, and various museums in Forest Park.
If you’re traveling for work or pleasure this summer, consider using public transportation in other major metropolitan areas as well. APTA recently reported that over 60 percent of adults under age 45 use public transportation when they travel to major U.S. cities or metropolitan areas. Using public transportation when traveling is often less expensive than taxis or rental cars, and over 70 percent of travelers that APTA surveyed say that public transit makes travel more cost effective and less stressful for all ages, including relieving travelers of the worry of finding parking in an unfamiliar city.
Check out these other important facts about the benefits of transit:
Public Transportation Use is Growing, and Helps our Economy
- In 2013, Americans took 10.7 billion trips on public transportation – the highest in 57 years.
- Since 1995 public transit ridership is up 37.2 percent, outpacing population growth, which is up 20.3 percent, and vehicle miles traveled (VMT), which is up 22.7 percent.
- Public transportation is a $57 billion industry that employs more than 400,000 people.
Public Transportation Saves Fuel and Reduces Congestion
- Public transportation has a proven record of reducing congestion.
- The latest research shows that in 2011, U.S. public transportation use saved 865 million hours in travel time and 450 million gallons of fuel in 498 urban areas.
- Without public transportation, congestion costs in 2011 would have risen by nearly $21 billion from $121 billion to $142 billion in 498 urban areas.
Public Transportation Reduces Gasoline Consumption
- Public transportation use in the United States saves 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually.
- Households near public transit drive an average of 4,400 fewer miles than households with no access to public transit.
Public Transportation Reduces Carbon Footprint
- Public transportation use in the United States reduces our nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually. This is equivalent to Washington, DC; New York City; Atlanta; Denver; and Los Angeles combined stopping using electricity.
- One person with a 20-mile round trip commute who switches from driving to public transit can reduce his or her daily carbon emissions by 20 pounds, or more than 4,800 pounds in a year.
- A single commuter switching his or her commute to public transportation can reduce a household’s carbon emissions by 10 percent and up to 30 percent if he or she eliminates a second car.