With summer approaching and gasoline prices rising, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) stresses now is the perfect time to try bus, rail or vanpool options to discover how much money and time can be saved compared to driving.
Thursday, June 15, is the 12th Annual National Dump the Pump Day which is celebrated across the nation as a way to reduce driving by hopping on board public transit.
“With over 105 miles of Metro rail now in operation and over 2,000 Metro buses rolling throughout the region, not to mention Metrolink , vanpools, bike share and ride share options available, it’s a perfect opportunity for folks to dump the pump and ride public transit,” said Metro Board Chair John Fasana. “There is a very good chance that Metro has a transportation alternative that works for you.”
In appreciation of current riders and as part of this year’s National Dump the Pump Day, Metro staff and various law enforcement officers from several agencies will be riding Metro buses and trains and greeting riders with Metro giveaway items as part of a campaign to encourage transit use.
Riding public transit is an economical way to save money, particularly when gas prices increase. According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Transit Savings Report for June, a two person household that downsizes to one car can save more than $9,700 a year.
In addition, public transportation helps communities grow and prosper. For example, every $1 invested in public transportation, results in $4 gained in economic returns, according to studies.
Metro also offers an extensive vanpooling program for commuters who have a roundtrip drive of at least 30 miles. The program is supported by a fleet of nearly 1,400 van pool vehicles that travel to L.A. County work sites each day. Nearly 90 percent of Metro Vanpool commuters used to drive alone. Vanpooling results in nearly 7,000 cars being taken off our region’s roads each day, according to Metro statistics.
“We encourage drivers to consider alternative forms of transportation, including Metro’s successful vanpool program, to save time and money getting to and from work, school or wherever they need to go,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “Transit goes a long way toward reducing air pollution in our region and enhancing overall quality of life.”
APTA reports that Americans took 10.4 billion trips on public transportation in 2016 with people boarding public transit 35 million times each weekday. Public transportation is a $66-billion industry that employs more than 400,000 people with more than 6,800 agencies providing public transportation in the United States.