WASHINGTON (April 24, 2019) – On Thursday, April 25, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and its members will celebrate the first-ever National Get on Board Day. APTA is sponsoring this national education and awareness day to emphasize the importance of public transportation to communities nationwide. More than 200 public transit agencies and organizations will come together to host various activities, events and special promotions across the nation to highlight the societal and economic benefits of public transportation.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the inaugural Get on Board Day with those who directly benefit from public transportation,” said David M. Stackrow, APTA Chair and board member of the Capital District Transportation Authority. “We look forward to seeing so many riders and organizations get on board to showcase how public transit helps people and communities thrive.”

“The value of public transportation is shown through the many benefits it brings to our nation and its communities both large and small,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “Increased investment is a critical component of improving the mobility options that boost the American economy.”

With 34 million daily riders, public transit benefits every segment of American society. Public transportation provides a safe, sustainable and affordable means of travel to riders and promotes economic development by increasing business sales, job creation, home values and more. As of April 2019, a two-person household on average saves $837 per month by taking transit and downsizing by one car.

While 77 percent of Americans view public transportation as the backbone of a mobile lifestyle, only 50 percent report having access to frequent public transportation, according to new research from APTA. The study also found that public transportation systems have more than $232 billion in critical projects in need of investment that would stimulate a 4-to-1 return of $928 billion in economic activity over the next 20 years.

APTA encourages community members and leaders to express their support and get on board for public transit by signing its petition for a government commitment to increased investment and expansion of national public transportation.

On Get on Board Day, more than 20 participating cities and transit agencies will offer free rides or pre-loaded transit fare cards to riders. Other Get on Board Day activities vary by state and include the following:

  • Birmingham mayor and Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority executives riding different buses to greet and thank riders for choosing public transportation
  • Rider appreciation event where riders can receive Get on Board Gear and enter into a raffle to receive MAX trinkets (Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority)
  • Social media photo contest to win free week passes (Valley Metro)
  • Free coffee and reusable mugs for early morning commuters at the Downtown Connection Center (Mountain Line)
  • T-shirt giveaways on various bus routes (Mountain Line)
  • BART Day “Secret Shopper” promotion asking riders to wear a special Get on Board sticker throughout the day; if spotted by a “secret shopper” riders can win BART tickets of varying values (San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District)
  • Free rides all week long (San Bernardino County Transportation Authority)
  • Show Get on Board Free Ride Days graphic when boarding to ride for free on April 26 and April 27 (Victor Valley Transit Authority)
  • Transit Fair at Skyline Park with giveaways and information to encourage non-riders get on board (Regional Transportation District)
  • Chance to win monthly pass when posting with #GetOnBoardTriRail hashtag (South Florida Regional Transportation Authority)
  • The HART CEO will ride on public transit and encourage community members to share their rider experiences with the #RideItForward hashtag (Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority)
  • Customer “HART Hangout” with CEO at a local restaurant along the Streetcar line (Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority)
  • Scavenger hunt with 10 grand prizes and participation prizes for all (Palm Tran)
  • 45-minute lunchtime yoga session and afternoon Health Fair at Five Points station to highlight the health benefits of public transportation (MARTA)
  • Staff to ride various routes and surprise riders with special prizes and free ride vouchers (Connect Transit)
  • Chicago press conference with transit system and local officials (RTA/CTA/Metra/PACE/Amtrak)
  • Peoria press conference/rally for public transportation with local officials (Greater Peoria Mass Transit District)
  • Placing a bus front on platform of MTD’s intermodal transfer facility; riders encouraged to express support for public transit by sharing photos with local officials on Twitter (Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District)
  • Transit Talk to discuss benefits of public transportation with local college students (Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation)
  • Free rides (Ames Transit Agency)
  • Free rides on Local, Express, Flex and On Call services in exchange for sharing messages of support on social media (DART)
  • The Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky will promote public transportation use downtown with free rides as incentives
  • Lextran is hosting a customer appreciation event and offering promotional giveaways
  • Commuter Challenge encouraging riders to ditch their cars for the week and track the benefits (Minnesota Valley Transit Authority)
  • “How to Use Bike Racks” educational session after school at East High School (Kansas City Area Transportation Authority)
  • “How to Ride” clinic teaching general public best practices for public transit riding (Kansas City Area Transportation Authority)
New Mexico
  • Town of Taos Mayor will surprise riders as driver of RTD in-Town bus (North Central Regional Transit District)
  • Social media photo contest to win monthly bus and rail passes (Rio Metro Regional Transit District)
New York
  • Social media promotion with elected officials and customers supporting CDTA and mobility options in the Capital Region. A social media contest for those who use the #GetonBoardCDTA
North Carolina
  • Fare Free Day (PART Express/GTA)
  • Passenger giveaways (High Point Transit System)
  • Downloadable day pass eligible for use April 22-April 26 (GoTriangle)
  • Local mayor will ride the bus with METRO Executive Director Dawn Distler (METRO Regional Transit Authority)
  • Metro vehicle will visit area bus stops to give away 500 one-ride tickets (Southwest Ohio Regional Transit authority)
  • Downtown Transit Center event showcasing new buses and educating riders about service animal policy; riders can receive Cherriots gear (Salem Area Mass Transit District)
  • Weekly pass giveaways for random riders at Downtown Service Center (Port Authority of Allegheny County)
  • Free rides along certain routes with chance to win 30-day Smart Card Pass (Schuylkill County Transportation Authority)
South Carolina
  • Free rides and all-day giveaways on buses and inside transit centers (Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority)
  • Social media photo contest to win gift cards for local restaurants (Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County)
  • Refer a Friend promotion for Corporate Pass Riders (Dallas Area Rapid Transit)
  • Press event with Austin Mayor and Austin City Council to launch TransitThursday, a weekly initiative to challenge the community to get on board (Capital Metro)
  • Passing out free ride cards throughout the day (Alexandria Transit Company)
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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 $71 billion industry that directly employs 430,000 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.​​​
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