As gas prices rise, drivers should dump the pump

Publish Date
Body

Consider using transit on National Dump the Pump Day, June 19

Seattle - The summer travel season is upon us and, according to AAA Washington, the average price of regular gasoline in the Seattle metro area hit $3.99 a gallon this week, up a nickel from last month. AAA also cautions that turmoil in Iraq could cause further gas price increases in coming months.

Local transit agencies are urging drivers to save money this week and all summer long if they dump the pump and take transit.  

Thursday, June 19 is National Dump the Pump Day, an effort by public transportation agencies nationwide to urge drivers to go green and save some green by trying transit.  

In the Puget Sound region, eight public transportation agencies carried 670,000 passengers every weekday and 200 million total riders last year. With the economy picking up, transit ridership is growing this year. That means fewer automobiles clogging the region's roadways and a lot more money in the pockets of commuters who are able to use their commute times more productively.  

A typical commuter who leaves his or her car behind each workday can save thousands of dollars a year just by avoiding gas and parking costs. That means a driver can still save hundreds of dollars by using transit even a couple of days a week.  

People are encouraged to learn how much they can save by using the Transit Calculator on the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) website, www.publictransportation.org. By entering some basic information such as miles traveled each day, vehicle fuel economy and local transit fare, an individual can instantly see their personal potential savings.  

Many of the region's public transportation agencies use ORCA, a regional fare card which allows passengers to seamlessly transfer between different systems and various transit modes. More information about ORCA is available at www.orcacard.com.  

For people who have never used transit, online trip planners can help out. Visit the website of a local transit agency listed below, enter an origin and destination, and learn which routes to take and how much it will cost.

Dump the Pump Activity  

In Thurston County, Intercity Transit, Amtrak Cascades and the Washington State Department of Transportation have teamed up to help local residents dump the pump. Over the next month, they will sponsor a series of community events aimed at helping people explore travel alternatives. Those events will take place:  

June 19 - 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., Olympia Farmers Market

June 25 - 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., Tumwater Farmers Market

June 29 - 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Yelm Farmers Market

July 16 - 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Lacey In Tune Concert, Huntamer Park  

National Dump the Pump Day is sponsored by APTA and local public transportation agencies:   Community Transit, www.communitytransit.org; Everett Transit, www.everetttransit.org; Intercity Transit, www.intercitytransit.com; King County Metro Transit, www.kingcounty.gov/metro; Kitsap Transit, www.kitsaptransit.org; Pierce Transit, www.piercetransit.org; Sound Transit, www.soundtransit.org; and Washington State Ferries, www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries. Learn more about Amtrak Cascades at www.amtrakcascades.com