Infographic: Public Transportation Statistics
Public Transportation: Communities of Health and Prosperity
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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.
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.
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)
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