Updated July 3, 2013

Infographic: Public Transportation Statistics

Public Transportation: Communities of Health and Prosperity
Read more about Gas Rewards

As I was riding the D.C. Metro a couple of weeks ago, I was reminded of the metro tickets I keep as mementos of places I’ve traveled: San Francisco’s BART, Atlanta’s MARTA, and New York City’s subway system. That got me thinking about stories of families who’ve saved a bundle by becoming one-car (or no-car) households.

I’m sure living in one of these cities with metro systems would make this conversion an easy one. However, I wonder how doable it would be for the rest of us.

(Click Image to Enlarge)
Infographics: Public Transportation
Infographics: Public Transportation © CreditDonkey

According to a study by AAA, the cost of owning and operating a car for one year is about $8,946, on average. Over a few years, that’s quite a chunk of change. Over the course of five years, that’s nearly $45,000. Additionally, according to RITA Bureau of Transportation’s statistics on average fuel efficiency and distance traveled to work (10 miles each way), the average daily work commute costs about $2.25 each way in a car compared to $1.02 for the average public transit fare—nearly half price.

The cost savings alone could justify using public transit, not to mention the health benefits. APTA claims public transportation offers cleaner air with 95% less carbon monoxide and nearly 50% less carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide per passenger mile than a private vehicle does.

Take a look at some additional statistics from the FTA.

  • Average time most Americans spend walking each day: 6 minutes
  • Average time most transit users spend walking each day: 19 minutes
  • Light rail users are 80% less likely to become obese over time
  • Public transit related injuries are approximately 1/25 of that associated with automobiles
  • 150 million Americans live in areas where air quality does not meet national standards
  • Motor vehicle emissions account for 25%–51% of air pollutants in these areas

The ultimate question, however, is: “Is public transit right for you?” Investigate the options and costs in your area. Do they offer convenient, flexible routes and times that accommodate the start and end of your work day? Can you carpool with friends or relatives? Is the bus stop or rail station within walking distance? Can you handle it in bad weather or your current state of health? If your city still does not offer reasonable public transit options, it may be a good time to let your lawmakers know you support such an initiative and why it’s important to you.

(Research & Writing by Kelly; Graphic Design by Boris)

Share this on Facebook or Twitter

Follow @CreditDonkey or write to Kelly Teh at kelly@creditdonkey.com
Kelly Teh is a contributing features writer at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and financial education website. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped young adults make savvy financial and lifestyle decisions. (read more)

More Articles in Tips

Gas Cards

Save Money on Gas

A few simple changes to your driving and gas-purchasing habits can improve your mileage per gallon and reduce the amount you have to spend on gas each week.

Comments about Infographic: Public Transportation Statistics

  • Roberta Budvietas from Auckland
    on June 26, 2012 11:56 AM said:

    That information is enlightening, next question is to get it into the hands of the people who decide on public transportation and those who avoid. I am seriously thinking of dumping my car but, the challenge is that sometimes to get somewhere in a reasonable time frame, you need a car. Public transport can be awkward to get one around on

Comments may be filtered for language. CreditDonkey makes no guarantee of comments' factual accuracy. These responses are not provided or commissioned by bank advertisers. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Visitors may report inappropriate content by clicking the Report abuse link.

Name (required)
Email (required; won't be published)
Website (optional)

or you can also trackback from your blog.

Blue Cash Preferred Review

If you are looking to get cash back rewards on common household categories like gas and groceries, consider the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card. American Express created the Preferred card (with a $75 annual fee) as an upgrade to the ...
More Articles in Tips






About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy financial decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.