Dump the Pump Day June 21 - Take Transit and Help Save the Environment

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On June 21, the Puget Sound region’s public transportation agencies will join transit agencies from coast to coast to ask the public to park their cars and ride public transportation instead.

Community Transit, Everett Transit, King County Metro Transit, Kitsap Transit, Pierce Transit and Sound Transit are participating in the second annual National Dump the Pump Day, which this year focuses on transit’s role in helping to save the environment.

“Last year tens of thousands of people set aside one day to leave their cars behind and protest high gas prices,” said Joyce Olson, CEO of Community Transit. “This year we hope many more people will link their personal actions to their impact on the environment.”

Each weekday, transit moves nearly half a million passengers in our region, keeping thousands of cars off our already congested roads and reducing both carbon emissions and fuel consumption.

“Public transportation plays a vital role in improving our environment,” said Kevin Desmond, general manager of King County Metro Transit. “On June 21, people can make a difference by riding public transportation and encouraging their friends and family to do so, too.”

“Every day Sound Transit and its partners work together to offer fast, reliable and convenient options to get out of traffic,” said Sound Transit CEO Joni Earl. “The options will increase when electric light rail opens between downtown Seattle and the airport in 2009. This November the region will decide if it wants to add 50 new miles of light rail to the system.”

A 2007 report by ICF International, “Public Transportation and Petroleum Savings in the U.S.: Reducing Dependence on Oil,” stated that U.S. public transportation systems save 1.4 billion gallons of gasoline every year, the equivalent of 108 million full car tanks. As an environmentally friendly transportation mode, transit produces nearly 50 percent less carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx), per passenger mile, as private vehicles.

Our region’s buses are also getting cleaner. Metro operates 214 articulated hybrid buses and plans to purchase more in the next few years. Its bus fleet is powered by a 20 percent blend of biodiesel and ultra low sulfur diesel.

Sound Transit’s Sounder commuter rail trains all operate using ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel which exceeds federal clean-air standards for diesel locomotives. In addition, hybrid buses make up 10 percent of Sound Transit’s bus fleet, and its buses in King and Pierce counties also run on a 20 percent blend of biodiesel and ultra low sulfur diesel.

All 189 buses in the Pierce Transit fleet operate on clean-burning Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). CNG buses significantly reduce carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, and virtually eliminate particulate emissions when compared to conventional diesel-powered vehicles.

“I dumped the pump”

To encourage participation in National Dump the Pump Day, Community Transit will hand out 10,000 stickers saying “I dumped the pump” to bus riders that day. Also, Community Transit and Sound Transit commuters will be invited to sign a large, inflatable world globe to indicate their role in helping the environment at the Lynnwood Transit Center from 6 – 10 a.m.

Everett Transit also will offer giveaways to bus riders that day.

Taking the bus or sharing a ride can also be good for the wallet. Riders and non-riders alike can find out just how much they can save in gas and parking when using public transportation by visiting Metro Online’s Commute Calculator at http://transit.metrokc.gov/tops/bus/calculator.html. Metro is also inviting passengers to share their stories about how much they save each month using transit, and how they’re doing it at: http://transit.metrokc.gov/up/promos/dumpthepump.html

“The 2007 National Dump the Pump Day is a public awareness day that emphasizes the environmental benefits of using public transportation,” said William W. Millar, president of the American Public Transportation Association, which is sponsoring the event. “It is also a day for people across the country to make a difference as they conserve gasoline and help our environment.”

Puget Sound Regional Transit Statistics

Public transportation in King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties covers:

  • 6,493 square miles including…
  • 62 cities and towns,
  • 425 bus routes,
  • two ferry routes (Kitsap Transit),
  • 83 miles of commuter rail (Sounder),
  • 1.6 miles of light rail (17.2 miles by 2009)

Average weekday ridership, by agency (and contacts):

  • Community Transit, 33,000 (Martin Munguia, 425 348-2348)
  • Everett Transit, 6,800 (Steffani Lillie, 425 257-8914)
  • Kitsap Transit, 15,000 (Laurie Talbert, 360 478-6225)
  • King County Metro Transit, 340,000 (Rochelle Ogershok, 206 296-6515)
  • Pierce Transit, 40,600 (Lind Simonsen, 253 581-8034)
  • Sound Transit, 44,000 (Bruce Gray, 206 398-5069)

 

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Sound Transit’s regional network of express buses, commuter rail, light rail and transit facilities connects communities in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.