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American Public Transportation Association

 Transit News

 10/6/2009

Contact:

Mantill Williams
(202) 496-4869

 Riding Public Transit Saves Individuals $9,062 Annually

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Individuals who ride public transportation can save on average $9,062 annually based on the October 5, 2009 national average gas price and the national unreserved monthly parking rate.

“The Transit Savings Report” released monthly by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) calculates the average annual and monthly savings for public transit users.  The report examines how an individual in a two-person household can save money by taking public transportation and living with one less car.

Transit riders can save on average $755 per month.  The savings amount is based on the cost of the national averages for parking and driving, as well as, the October 5 national average gas price of $2.461 per gallon for self-serve regular gasoline as reported by AAA, a slight decrease from last month’s price.

Taking public transportation provides a safe and affordable way for individuals and families to cut household costs, according to APTA.  In addition, local public transit offers a travel option that has an immediate, positive impact in reducing an individual’s overall carbon footprint while helping reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.

The national average for a monthly unreserved parking space in a downtown business district is $154.23, according to the 2009 Colliers International Parking Rate Study.  Over the course of a year, parking costs for a vehicle can amount to an average of $1,850.

The top 20 cities with the highest transit ridership are ranked in order of their transit savings based on the purchase of a monthly public transit pass and factoring in local gas prices for October 5, 2009 and the local monthly unreserved parking rate.* 

Top Twenty Cities – Transit Savings Report

 

City

Monthly Savings

Annual Savings

1

New York

$1,138

$13,655

2

Boston

$1,017

$12,202

3

San Francisco

$1,016

$12,195

4

Seattle

$930

$11,155

5

Chicago

$926

$11,116

6

Philadelphia

$910

$10,914

7

Honolulu

$883

$10,593

8

Los Angeles

$838

$10,054

9

San Diego

$824

$9,887

10

Minneapolis

$802

$9,625

11

Portland

$797

$9,562

12

Denver

$786

$9,432

13

Cleveland

$781

$9,371

14

Baltimore

$763

$9,156

15

Washington DC

$735

$8,824

16

Miami

$732

$8,780

17

Dallas

$711

$8,537

18

Las Vegas

$709

$8,504

19

Atlanta

$700

$8,397

20

Pittsburgh

$665

$7,978

*Based on gasoline prices as reported by AAA on 10/5/09.

 

Methodology

APTA calculates the average cost of taking public transit by determining the average monthly transit pass of local public transit agencies across the country.  This information is based on the annual APTA fare collection survey and is weighted based on ridership (unlinked passenger trips).  The assumption is that a person making a switch to public transportation would likely purchase an unlimited pass on the local transit agency, typically available on a monthly basis.

APTA then compares the average monthly transit fare to the average cost of driving.  The cost of driving is calculated using the 2009 AAA average cost of driving formula.  AAA cost of driving formula is based on variable costs and fixed costs.  The variable costs include the cost of gas, maintenance and tires.  The fixed costs include insurance, license registration, depreciation and finance charges.  The comparison also uses the average mileage of a mid-size auto at 23.4 miles per gallon and the price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline as recorded by AAA on October 5 at $2.461 per gallon.  The analysis also assumes that a person will drive an average of 15,000 miles per year.  The savings assume a person in two-person household lives with one less car.

In determining the cost of parking, APTA uses the data from the 2009 Colliers International Parking Rate Study for monthly unreserved parking rates for the United States.

To calculate your individual savings with or without car ownership, go to www.publictransportation.org.

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