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American Public Transportation Association

 Dump the Pump Transit Facts

Help Spread the Word About the Many Benefits of Public Transportation
on National Dump the Pump Day
Thursday, June 16, 2016

The 11th annual National Dump the Pump Day on June 16 is a day to highlight the many benefits of using public transportation.

From urban to suburban to rural communities, public transportation is a vital resource to Americans, and a cornerstone of our nation’s economy and local economies. In fact, public transportation helps to make a community economically competitive.  Additionally, public transportation offers job access to millions of Americans since nearly 60 percent of trips taken on public transit are work commutes.​

Many people park their cars and take public transportation instead.  According to APTA’s June Transit Saving Report, a two-person household can save, on the average, $9,474 a year by downsizing to one car.

Public transportation use reduces our nation’s dependence on foreign oil by 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline a year and it also saves 37 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually. Last, but not least, public transportation has a proven track record of reducing congestion. The latest research shows that in 2011, U.S. public transportation use saved 856 million hours in travel time, 450 million gallons of fuel, and $21 billion in congestion costs in 498 urban areas.

Quick Facts

  • In 2015, Americans took 10.6 billion trips on public transportation - - the third highest in 10 years. 
  • Since 1995 public transit ridership is up 37 percent, outpacing population growth, which is up 21 percent, and vehicle miles traveled (VMT), which is up 30 percent.
  • People board public transportation 36 million times each weekday.
  • Public transportation is a $66 billion industry that employs more than 400,000 people.
  • More than 6,800 organizations provide public transportation in the United States.

Public Transportation Provides Economic Opportunities & Drives Community Growth and Revitalization

  • Public transportation offers individuals access to jobs.
  • Nearly 60 percent of the trips taken on public transit are work commutes.
  • Every $1 billion invested in public transportation supports and creates more than 50,000 jobs.​
  • Transportation is the back bone of the economy.
  • Every $1 invested in public transportation generates approximately $4 in economic returns.
  • Every $10 million in operating investment yields $32 million in increased business sales.
  • R​​esidential property values performed 42 percent better on average if they were located near public transportation with high-frequency service.

Public Transportation Helps People Save Money

  • According to APTA’s June Transit Saving Report, a two-person household can save, on the average, $9,474 a year by downsizing to one car.
  • Public transportation provides an affordable, and for many, necessary, alternative to driving.

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.

Public Transportation Enhances Personal Opportunities

  • Public transportation provides personal mobility and freedom for people from every walk of life.
  • Access to public transportation gives people transportation options to commute to work, go to school, visit friends, or travel to a doctor’s office.
  • Public transportation provides access to job opportunities for millions of Americans.

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