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American Public Transportation Association

 Transit News

 1/5/2011

Contact:

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

 Rising Gas Prices Allow Public Transit Riders to Ring in the New Year with an Average Savings of $805 This Month and $9,656 Annually

 

Washington, DC- 2011 begins with rising gas prices and predictions they will go even higher as we move further into the new year. These predictions coupled with the release of The American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) monthly “Transit Savings Report” highlight the increasing benefits of switching from driving to riding public transportation. The report notes that riding public transportation saves individuals, on average $9,656 annually, and up to $805 per month based on the January 5, 2011 average national gas price ($3.08 per gallon-reported by AAA) and the national unreserved monthly parking rate. 

Gas prices are at their highest level since October 2008, and $.32 higher than the same time last year providing riders an additional annual savings of more than $400. Riding public transportation is a proven way for individuals to cut monthly and yearly transportation costs, while also reducing their carbon footprint.

APTA releases this monthly “Transit Savings Report” to examine how an individual in a two-person household can save money by taking public transportation and living with one less car.

The national average for a monthly unreserved parking space in a downtown business district is $161.56, according to the 2010 Colliers International Parking Rate Study.  Over the course of a year, parking costs for a vehicle can amount to an average of $1,939.

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 January 5, 2011 and the local monthly unreserved parking rate.*

 

Top Twenty Cutues - Transit Savings Report

 

City

Monthly Savings Annual Savings
New York $1,180 $14,159
Boston $1,083 $12,993
San Francisco $1,061 $12,738
Chicago $972 $11,660
Seattle $952 $11,427
Philadelphia $942 $11,305
Honolulu $922 $11,063
Los Angeles $866 $10,395
Minneapolis $848 $10,180
10  San Diego $839 $10,074
11  Portland $827 $9,926
12  Denver $821 $9,854
13  Baltimore $810 $9,726
14  Washington, DC $809 $9,709
15  Cleveland $805 $9,663
16  Miami $792 $9,502
17  Pittsburgh $763 $9,159
18  Dallas $751 $9,015
19  Atlanta $751 $9,011
20  Las Vegas $740 $8,877


*Based on gasoline prices as reported by AAA on 1/05/11.

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 2010 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 January 5, 2011 at $3.08 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 2010 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.  

 talking points

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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private member organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity 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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