Millions of Americans in all corners of the United States, from California to Washington to Arizona to Iowa and Illinois, to Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, Florida, Delaware and Massachusetts, are using public transportation tomorrow to participate in the seventh annual National Dump the Pump Day. In addition to a record 144 public transportation systems participating, there are 18 public and private organizations that are also promoting National Dump the Pump Day, for a total of 162 organizations. (See link below for the list of known participants.)
Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), in partnership with the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), this national public awareness day encourages people to save money by parking the car and using public transportation instead. The slogan this year is: Save Money. Take Transit.
“Using public transportation is more cost effective than driving and owning a car,” said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. “It’s not surprising that with the volatility in gas prices, more and more Americans are turning to public transit. People want to save money and using public transit is a great way to help your household budget.”
According to the latest APTA Transit Savings Report, households can save nearly $10,000 a year when they dump the pump and take public transit instead.
With high gas prices, increasing numbers of people are turning to public transportation to save money. Public transportation ridership surged in the first quarter of 2012, as Americans took nearly 2.7 billion trips, an increase of 5.0 percent, as 125.7 million more trips were taken than the first quarter of last year. Some public transit systems saw record ridership including the transit systems in the following cities: Ann Arbor, MI; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Fort Myers, FL; Indianapolis, IN; Ithaca, NY; New York, NY; Oakland, CA; Olympia, WA; San Diego, CA; and Tampa, FL.
“Not surprisingly, public transit ridership hit record highs across the nation this spring,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. “Gas prices go up and down - mostly up - but Americans who try transit tend to stick with it. Instead of being stuck in traffic, they enjoy a book or a quick cat nap on their commute, while saving their families thousands of dollars at the pump, creating jobs, and doing their part to save 37 million metric tons of carbon pollution and 4.2 billion gallons of oil every year.”
“Public transportation is popular, with ridership on buses and trains on the rise. Congress should provide consumers what they want by investing more in public transit. More transportation choices mean less pain at the pump," said Deron Lovaas, NRDC Federal Transportation Policy Director.
Some public transportation systems are offering free rides, holding contests, and providing giveaways to reward their riders and to interest new riders in trying public transportation. In addition, Sierra Club chapters throughout the country are working with local public transportation systems to help communicate the value of public transit through National Dump the Pump Day.
Go to the following link for a list of the public transportation systems, Sierra Club Chapters and public and private organizations that are participating in National Dump the Pump Day: http://www.apta.com/members/memberprogramsandservices/advocacyandoutreachtools/dumpthepump/Pages/activities.aspx
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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organization which represent a $68 billion industry that directly employs 420,000 people and supports millions of private sector jobs. APTA members are 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.