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American Public Transportation Association

 Media Advisory



Mantill Williams
(202) 496-4869

 Riding Public Transit Saves Individuals $9,242 Annually


Transit riders now save $600 more per year compared to last year at this time

as the cost of gas has increased nearly $1 per gallon

Washington, DC – Individuals who ride public transportation can save on average $9,242 annually based on the January 11, 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 $1.79 which is nearly $1 less than the current price of gas at $2.75 per gallon.  This increase in cost equates to an additional $600 in savings per year for transit commuters as compared to last year’s savings amount at this same time.

“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 $770 per month.  The savings amount is based on the cost of the national averages for parking and driving, as well as the January 11 national average gas price of $2.75 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 January 11, 2010 and the local monthly unreserved parking rate.*

Top Twenty Cities – Transit Savings Report

 City Monthly Savings  Annual Savings
1  New York  $ 1,147  $ 13,765
2  Boston  $ 1,030  $ 12,362
3  San Francisco  $ 1,013  $ 12,156
4  Chicago  $  946  $ 11,357
5  Seattle  $ 932  $ 11,185
6 Philadelphia  $ 927  $ 11,121
7 Honolulu  $ 887  $ 10,639
8 Los Angeles  $ 838  $ 10,052
9 San Diego  $ 824  $ 9,894
10 Minneapolis  $ 824  $ 9,884
11 Cleveland  $ 803  $ 9,639
12 Portland  $ 798  $  9,581
13 Denver  $ 795  $ 9,539
14 Baltimore  $ 782  $ 9,383
15 Miami $ 752 $ 9,022
16 Washington, DC  $ 751  $ 9,015
17 Dallas  $730  $ 8,756
18 Atlanta  $722  $ 8,658
19 Las Vegas  $716  $ 8,591
20 Pittsburgh  $ 680  $ 8,162

 *Based on gasoline prices as reported by AAA on 1/11/10.


Profile of a transit commuter saving money

Louisville, Kentucky resident Carolyn Hagan has been riding Transit Authority of River City (TARC) buses for nearly six years. 

“Louisville/Jefferson County Metro government offers a transit benefit so I can ride the bus for free,” said Hagan.  “Other employers should give their employees the benefit of riding TARC.  They get to work stress free and they can do a better job.”

Thanks to her employee transit benefit, Hagan says that she doesn’t put a lot of mileage on her car and only has to gas up once a month.  In addition, she doesn’t have to pay to park – another savings!

It’s just really a great benefit for me and helps me save money,” said Hagan, who encourages co-workers to try public transportation.

To see Carolyn Hagan’s video, go to


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 January 11 at $2.75 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  


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