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American Public Transportation Association

Transit News

6/13/2011

Contact:

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

Despite Dip in Gas Prices, Individuals Continue to Save Big By Taking Public Transportation

Savings of more than $10,000 a year on display during National Dump the Pump Day June 16

Washington, DC- Despite a recent dip in gas prices, individuals continue to rack up big savings by simply riding public transportation. For instance, riding public transportation saves individuals, on average, $10,074 annually and $840 per month according to the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Transit Savings Report which bases these savings on the June 13, 2011 average national gas price ($3.70 per gallon-reported by AAA) and the national unreserved monthly parking rate. Gas prices are a dollar higher per gallon compared to this time last year.

These savings will be on full display as Americans across the country participate in the sixth annual National Dump the Pump Day this Thursday June 16. APTA, in partnership with the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), are sponsoring National Dump the Pump Day to encourage people to save money by parking the car and using public transportation instead. In addition, the groups are reminding individuals that taking public transit helps the environment and reduces our country’s dependence on oil.

Public transportation systems from across the country – from Alaska to Florida to Chicago – have signed up to participate in National Dump the Pump Day. Some public transportation systems are offering free rides, holding contest and giveaways, and spreading the word through social media.

“High gas prices are still straining American's daily travel budget,” states APTA President William Millar. “Dump the Pump Day is the perfect time for individuals to try public transit to beat the high gas prices. You will be joining millions of American who will also be helping out the planet by reducing our dependence on oil.”

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 June 13, 2011 and the local monthly unreserved parking rate.*

Top Twenty Cities – Transit Savings Report

City Annual Savings Monthly Savings
1

New York

$1,218

$14,619

2

Boston

$1,119

$13,431

3

San Francisco

$1,097

$13,163

4

Chicago

$1,020

$12,238

5

Seattle

$991

$11,893

6

Philadelphia

$976

$11,709

7

Honolulu

$943

$11,312

8

Los Angeles

$901

$10,817

9

Minneapolis

$883

$10,595

10

San Diego

$872

$10,460

11

Denver

$867

$10,406

12

Portland

$865

$10,378

13

Washington, DC

$851

$10,217

14

Baltimore

$846

$10,150

15

Cleveland

$845

$10,135

16

Miami

$828

$9,941

17

Pittsburgh

$799

$9,583

18

Dallas

$788

$9,460

19

Atlanta

$786

$9,428

20

Las Vegas

$773

$9280


*Based on gasoline prices as reported by AAA on 6/13/11.

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 2011 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 June 13, 2011 at $3.703 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 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.

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 The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products.  More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.

 

#   #   #

 The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products.  More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.

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