American Public Transportation Association
 
American Public Transportation Association
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 Media Advisory

 3/4/2010

Contact:

Mantill Williams
(202)496-4869
mwilliams@apta.com

 Riding Public Transit Saves Individuals $9,215 Annually

 Transit riders now save $715 more per year compared to last year at this time as the cost of gas has increased $0.77 per gallon

Washington, DC – Individuals who ride public transportation can save on average $9,215 annually based on the March 3, 2010 national average gas price and the national unreserved monthly parking rate.  Compared to last year at this time, the average cost per gallon of gas was $1.933 which is $0.77 less than the current price of gas at $2.703 per gallon.  The total savings as compared to last year at this time equates to an increase of an additional $715 in savings per year for transit commuters.

“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 $768 per month.  The savings amount is based on the cost of the national averages for parking and driving, as well as the March 3 national average gas price of $2.703 per gallon for self-serve regular gasoline as reported by AAA.

Taking public transportation provides a safe and affordable way for individuals and families to cut 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 March 3, 2010 and the local monthly unreserved parking rate.*

   City  Monthly Savings  Annual Savings
 1  New York  $ 1,145  $ 13,740
 2  Boston  $ 1,028  $ 12,333
 3  San Francisco  $ 1,011  $ 12,134
 4  Chicago  $ 942  $ 11,298
 5  Seattle  $ 933  $ 11,197
 6  Philadelphia  $ 925  $ 11,095
 7  Honolulu  $ 891  $ 10, 689
 8  Los Angeles  $ 835  $ 10,023
 9  San Diego  $ 822  $ 9,859
 10  Minneapolis  $ 821  $ 9,856
 11  Portland  $ 799  $ 9,590
 12  Denver  $ 798  $ 9,571
 13  Cleveland  $ 795  $ 9, 537
 14  Baltimore  $ 779  $ 9,349
 15  Miami  $ 751  $ 9,007
 16  Washington, DC  $ 750  $ 9,004
 17  Dallas  $ 729  $ 8,746
 18  Atlanta  $ 720  $ 8, 642
 19  Las Vegas  $ 712  $ 8,545
 20  Pittsburgh  $ 678  $ 8,139

*Based on gasoline prices as reported by AAA on 3/3/10.

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 March 3 at $2.703 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 a 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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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of more than 1,400 public and private member organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne passenger services, and high-speed rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada are served by APTA member systems.

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