More than 135 public transit systems in the U.S. are participating in the 9th annual National Dump the Pump Day on Thursday, June 19. 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 using public transit instead of driving, shows the importance of public transportation to communities, and underlines the environmental and energy benefits that come from public transportation.
“More and more people are using public transportation to save money in light of high and volatile gas prices,” said APTA President/CEO Michael Melaniphy. “With gas prices rising, public transit systems across the country are promoting National Dump the Pump Day on June 19 and are encouraging people to ride public transit.”
APTA first started National Dump the Pump Day in June 2006 when gas prices had reached $3 per gallon and the public demand for public transportation was growing in response to high gas prices. According to the June 18 APTA Transit Savings Report, on the average, people in a two-person household can save $10,187 a year when they downsize by one car and take public transit instead.
“National Dump the Pump Day is a great opportunity to take a look at our commuting habits and consider alternatives. Taking public transit, walking, or biking one day a week can add up to some real savings,” said APTA Chair Peter Varga and CEO of The Rapid in Grand Rapids, Mich.
From urban to suburban to rural communities, public transportation is a vital resource to Americans, and a cornerstone of our nation’s economy and local economies. Every dollar invested in public transportation returns four dollars to the community. Additionally, public transportation is essential in a community that wants to be competitive and attract new companies.
“National Dump the Pump Day highlights all the benefits that public transportation brings,” said Melaniphy. “On top of individual financial savings, public transportation spurs economic growth for towns and cities, and also improves the environment and reduces our nation’s energy consumption.”
Public transportation also offers important environmental and energy benefits for communities and for the country. Every year U.S. public transportation use saves 37 million metric tons of carbon emissions and 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline.
"Transit is moving the country beyond oil at the same time it is building a cleaner economy," said Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune. "Convenient, reliable, affordable public transportation is a must for building the clean energy economy that this country deserves."
“The fossil fuels we displace by taking transit – liquid fuels refined from crude oil – exacerbate our national security. With good policy and personal choices we can decrease our oil dependence and make greater investments in innovative public transportation projects that move our nation forward,” 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. For a list of the public transportation systems, and public and private organizations that are participating in National Dump the Pump Day nationwide click on the following links.