Kelly Bell/ETR

            With gasoline prices and supplies continuing to fluctuate, new means of saving money and gas are at a premium. National Dump the Pump Day encourages commuters to leave their cars home and ride public transportation. The implications are eye-catching. The APTA Transit Savings Report for April reveals that a two-person household that downsizes to one car can save an average of $9000 per year.There is more.

            Widespread use of public transportation helps communities expand and profit. For every dollar invested in public transportation, a full four dollars comes back in economic returns. Mayors statewide already know that communities with extensive public transportation systems are more competitive, improving life both for communities and their residents. Consider the following:

            Benefits of using public transit–

            * In 2014 Americans took 10.8 billion trips on public transportation–the highest in 58 years.

            * Since 1995 public transit ridership is up 39%, outpacing population growth, which has risen 21%, and vehicle miles traveled, which rose 25%.

            * People ride public transportation 36,000,000 times every weekday.

            * Public transportation is a $61 billion industry employing more than 400,000 people.

            * More than 7200 organizations provide public transportation in the United States.

            How public transportation saves money–

            * Using public transportation is the most effective way of beating high gasoline prices.

            * Public transportation provides an affordable and, for many, necessary alternative to driving.

            Public transportation provides economic opportunities and furthers community growth and revitalization–

            * Every $1 billion invested in public transportation supports and creates more than 50,000 jobs.

            * Every $10 million in operating investment yields $32 million in increased business sales.

            * From 2006 to 2011 residential property values performed 42% better on average when located near public transportation with high-frequency service.

            Public transportation saves fuel and reduces congestion–

            * Public transportation has a proven record of reducing congestion.

            * The latest research indicates 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 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 yearly.

            * Households near public transit drive an average of 4400 fewer miles annually 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 the equivalent of Washington D.C., 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–more than 4800 pounds per year.

            * Just one commuter who switches to public transportation can reduce a household’s carbon emissions by 10%, and as much as 30% if he or she stops using a second car.

            Public transportation enhances personal options–

            * Public transportation provides personal mobility and freedom for people from all walks of life.

            * Access to public transportation gives people transportation options to commute to work, go to school, visit friends or go to a doctor’s office.

            * Public transportation provides access to job opportunities for millions of Americans.