Tired of $4 gas? June 21 is a great day to “Dump the Pump” and try transit

Publish Date

Leaving the car at home can create big savings and help the environment

The Puget Sound region's public transportation agencies are joining forces to encourage commuters to make national Dump the Pump Day, June 21, the day they climb aboard buses, trains and ferries and spend their hard-earned dollars on something other than gas.

With volatile gas prices around $4 per gallon for regular, the more than 560,000 riders who take advantage of the region's public transportation services already understand the savings they can reap.

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) transit savings calculator shows that the cost of driving 20 miles round trip each weekday in a car that gets 23 miles per gallon with $4 per gallon for gas and $10 a day for parking is approximately $2,300 more per year than riding transit, taking into account the cost of a transit pass.*

If everyone who currently rides transit each day drove a car the same distance they would cumulatively use more than $615,000 in fuel daily. The more than 150,000 gallons of fuel burned would result in greenhouse gas emissions of more than 1,300 metric tons daily.**

National Dump the Pump Day is sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) to encourage people to take advantage of public transportation systems available in local communities across the nation. By doing so, people can save money as well as help the environment and increase the nation's energy independence.

Several of the agencies are planning activities to observe Dump the Pump Day.

Sound Transit staff will host a rider appreciation event on June 21, greeting morning commuters at the Federal Way Transit Center. Riders will be able to learn about the various parking options at six Federal Way area park-and-ride lots. In addition, commuters can enter a drawing to win an ORCA card pre-loaded with $10. (Information on the parking options is available at FWParking.)

Metro will be reaching out to riders on Facebook to ask how they plan to Dump the Pump on June 21. Ten people will win a Dump the Pump t-shirt and an ORCA card loaded with $10. Participants will be selected through a random drawing on June 25. Metro will also be reaching out to residents with a reminder that they can learn more about the travel and cost-savings benefits of using transit by visiting Metro Online.

Intercity Transit will host a giant Transportation Fair June 20, 11am to 1pm, at Heritage Park in downtown Olympia. The event will enable people to discover how much money they can save on their commute, which transit services might work best for them, participate in drawings and giveaways and walk away with their customized "Undriver License." The transit agency is encouraging people to share their Dump the Pump stories online and will launch a trial bus pass program in July.

Snohomish County's Community Transit is encouraging people to take the bus to their favorite local destination this summer. Whether you enjoy relaxing at the Edmonds or Mukilteo waterfronts, shopping at Alderwood Mall or historic downtown Snohomish, or the excitement of the Tulalip Resort Casino, you can get there on a Community Transit bus. Visit www.communitytransit.org to plan your trip or for more information.

For more information about transit options, how to plan a trip or activities in your community, visit these websites: 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.

For more information about APTA's monthly transit savings calculator, visit http://www.apta.com/members/memberprogramsandservices/advocacyandoutreachtools/Pages/TransitCalculator.aspx

*This example assumes the $99 monthly cost of an ORCA card loaded with a pass that is good for unlimited bus or light rail trips within King County. You can calculate your own savings by visiting the APTA website and put your savings to use on Dump the Pump Day.

**This calculation provides a order-of-magnitude example illustrating cumulative fuel savings by people who ride transit. It is based on a completely hypothetical scenario of all existing transit riders (Washington State Ferries are excluded) driving cars instead of taking transit, with each agency's ridership multiplied by its average transit trip distance. The calculation assumes 23 miles per gallon, typical of a medium-sized car. The cumulative reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is based on the below-linked methodology. This hypothetical example does not try to take into account greenhouse gas emissions by transit vehicles or any other factors.