Sept. 20-24 is Try Transit Week in Virginia, an annual effort by the state’s Department of Rail and Public Transportation and coalition partners to encourage Virginians to “stop driving alone and try one of the variety of transit options available.” Emphasizing bus, rail, Metro and carpooling, the Try Transit Week website does a great job highlighting the mulitple benefits of relying on more than just a car for transportation. The coalition emphasizes in particular the fact that using transit saves both time and money, and those savings are big! According to the site, public transit users save money:
- The availability of public transportation options can reduce the need for an additional car, leading to savings of more than $9,300 per year ($779/mth) (APTA).
- The average household spends 18 cents of every dollar on transportation, and 94 percent of this goes to buying, maintaining, and operating cars, the largest expenditure after housing (APTA).
And they help everyone on the road save time by reducing congestion:
- Americans living in areas served by transit save 646 million hours in travel time (APTA).
- A single bus can remove up to 40 cars from traffic and one passenger railcar can remove up to 125 cars from highways according to the Virginia Transit Association (VTA).
- If Metrorail did not exist, an additional 26 interstate highway lanes would be needed to accommodate commuters during rush hour in the Washington, DC area (VTA).
These are both great reasons to see communities across the country have a variety of transportation options, but they’re not the only ones. Public transportation is good for local economies, helps protect the environment, and enhances quality of life for the communities it serves. More people are using public transportation every year, and that’s good for families, communities and businesses too.
Have you already taken the Try Transit pledge? How has your week been affected by using public transit? If you haven’t taken the pledge yet or want to know more, visit TryTransitWeek.com.