National day highlights public transportation as a convenient travel option that also helps people save money. Photo: APTA

National day highlights public transportation as a convenient travel option that also helps people save money. Photo: APTA

More than 155 public transit systems and organizations are celebrating the 13th annual National Dump the Pump Day today. Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), this national public awareness day encourages people to "Dump the Pump" by parking their car and riding a bus or train instead. The tag line is: Dump the Pump. Ride Transit.

First started in June 2006, this national day highlights public transportation as a convenient travel option that also helps people save money. According to the June APTA Transit Savings Report, individuals in a two-person household can save an average of $10,160 annually by downsizing to one car and using public transit instead.

"Public transportation systems nationwide are participating in Dump the Pump Day to encourage individuals to give up their vehicles and try transit for the day," said APTA Chair and Jacksonville Transportation Authority CEO Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. "Public transportation provides 34 million riders each day an affordable and reliable mobility option that connects people to jobs, education, healthcare, entertainment and more."

"Through "Dump the Pump" educational and fun events and activities, public transit systems will thank current riders and welcome new riders," said APTA president/CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. "Whether you live in a large, medium or small community, this is a day to learn more about your public transportation system and its importance in people's lives."

People should check with their local transit system to find out what kinds of activities are happening in their community. Click on the following link to see the different organizations that are participating in National Dump the Pump Day on June 21.

Public transportation systems are promoting National Dump the Pump Day in a variety of ways. At least 26 public transit systems are offering free rides to make it easy for people to try public transportation and many public transportation systems are conducting contests and offering giveaways.

There are regional Dump the Pump events in New Mexico and Florida and a citywide event with all the public transit systems in Chicago.

  • New Mexico: This will be the single largest Dump the Pump campaign in New Mexico since APTA launched it in 2006. Transit agencies from across northern New Mexico — Santa Fe Trails, NM Rail Runner Express, North Central Regional Transit District, Rio Metro RTD and NMDOT Park & Ride — collaborated on a campaign that will include print, radio and digital ads, media outreach, social media, posters, and bus wraps. On June 21, from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM, the four transit agencies will be setting up at the South Capitol Transit Station, their largest transit hub, to hand out coffee and donuts, schedules and offer giveaways, including monthly passes and even bikes. A local radio station will be doing a live remote from the location.
  • Florida: Seven public transit systems and transportation organizations in southern Florida will be promoting public transit at five transit stations and terminals. Riders will be able to receive informational brochures, free passes, and coloring books and crayons. The participating public transportation organizations are: South Florida Reginal Transportation Authority, Broward County Transit, Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization, Miami-Dade Transit, Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization, Palm Tran, and Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency.
  • Chicago: Thanks to a partnership between Chicago's public transportation systems and Cubic Transportation, morning riders will be greeted with free coffee at select locations. Later in the day, thanks to a partnership with the White Sox, the first 10,000 people to arrive for the game will receive a free, specially designed transit T-shirt. Along with the Regional Transportation Authority, Chicago's participating public transit systems are Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, and Pace Suburban Bus and ADA Paratransit.

Below are some examples of other ways public transportation systems are celebrating National Dump the Pump Day. For additional information go to #dumpthepump or #dumpthepumpday

Contests, Giveaways, and Special Events

  • Citilink (Fort Wayne, IN) is hosting a public officials/stakeholder bus ride/media event on one of their brand new 40' Gillig hybrid electric buses.
  • Coast Regional Transportation Authority (Conway, SC) will place Dump the Pump flyers under some bus seats throughout the day. The lucky riders who find a flyer under their seats will receive free bus passes. Coast RTA will also distribute "I support public transportation!" stickers, coloring books, and transit facts at its transfer center.
  • Franklin Transit Authority (Franklin, Tenn.) is combining Dump the Pump Day with the celebration of the system's 15th birthday. An ice cream truck will provide free ice cream to its riders and the public.
  • Jacksonville Transportation Authority (Jacksonville, Fla.) will give out Dump the Pump stickers, information about JTA services and transit facts at a table in front of its headquarters' customer service office. In addition, its "Try Transit" bus will be on display.
  • Metro McAllen (McAllen, Texas) will have a free photo booth at the McAllen Central Station and riders' photos will be placed in a Dump the Pump frame. In the afternoon, riders can meet the Metro McAllen mascot and have free snow cones at the same bus terminal.
  • Several public transit systems across the country are holding photo contests in which people send in photos of themselves "Dumping the Pump" as they ride on buses and trains. By sharing selfies, they are entered into a drawing. Some of the systems holding photo contests are Capital Area Transit (Harrisburg, Pa.), Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (Charleston, S.C.), and Long Beach Transit (Long Beach, Calif.).
  • Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (Moline, Ill.) is having a rider appreciation event with food, games, and raffle prizes.
  • Riverside Transit Agency (Riverside, Calif.) will be giving away prizes, including free bus passes and a Google Home Mini that you can use to check bus schedules!
  • San Mateo County Transit District & Caltrain (San Carlos, Calif.) will promote National Dump the Pump Day with a community event at the Millbrae Transit Center to launch Route SFO, a new direct bus connection between the Millbrae Caltrain Station and San Francisco International Airport. It will make transit a more attractive alternative for travelers going to and from the airport. The wrapped Route SFO bus will be staged at the Millbrae Caltrain Station. The agencies will set up booths to share route and other transit service information, plus offering free giveaways, including customized Dump the Pump buttons. In addition, a local San Francisco-based radio station that plays top 40 hits will be onsite to help promote the event with help from one of their on-air personalities.
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