Transit Agencies Urge Drivers to Dump the Pump on June 16
Dodging high summer gas prices can help commuters save big
In the Puget Sound region, eight public transportation agencies carry more than 600,000 passengers every weekday and 200 million riders a year. That means fewer automobiles clogging the region's roadways and a lot more money in the pockets of commuters.
With high gas prices and household budgets already stretched thin, thousands of Puget Sound commuters are experiencing the value of transit. On June 16, the region's transit agencies urge solo drivers to fatten their wallets by participating in National Dump the Pump Day.
"Puget Sound residents have so many great alternatives to driving - buses, light rail, streetcars, trains, vanpools and ferries. Dump the Pump Day is a great time to try out a new ride and save some money," said Kevin Desmond, General Manager of King County Metro Transit.
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.
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. People are encouraged to learn how much they can save by using the Transit Calculator on the 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 are hosting events around Puget Sound to get drivers to try transit and urge regular transit customers to make June 16 a "zero drive" day. For added convenience, these transit systems use ORCA (One Regional Card for All), a regional fare card which allows transit passengers to seamlessly transfer between different systems and various transit modes. More information about ORCA is available at www.orcacard.com.
June 16 Dump the Pump Activity in the Puget Sound Region
On National Dump the Pump Day the region's transit systems are encouraging commuters to ditch the car and try a new travel option.
King County Metro Transit, in partnership with Sound Transit, will thank riders at the Bellevue, Federal Way, Northgate and Tukwila transit centers for "Dumping the Pump" and being part of the solution to traffic congestion. Riders will be greeted with a free cup of coffee and pastries donated by area businesses during the Thursday morning commute. Metro will also be emphasizing all the transit options available to commuters, including how to avoid upcoming tolls on the SR 520 bridge and congestion on the Alaska Way Viaduct by taking advantage of expanded transit options.
In Snohomish County, Community Transit, Everett Transit and Sound Transit will reward transit commuters at the Everett Station, the regional hub of transit activity in the county. From 6 to 9 a.m. employees will be handing out a transit appreciation gift, entering commuters into a raffle and encouraging people to sign their name on a Dump the Pump billboard to be displayed on an Everett Transit bus.
In Olympia, Intercity Transit will have customer appreciation activities at its transit centers and their Martin Way Park and Ride. Intercity Transit is offering incentives to commuters who try vanpooling or employees who work in downtown Olympia and hop on the bus. This is part of a three month "save your cash" awareness effort Intercity Transit has launched to encourage the use of travel alternatives.
Also, Sound Transit will be giving away several ORCA cards loaded with $10 for regional travel as part of a Twitter promotion (@SoundTransit). Participants can "retweet" a special message all week and be entered to win a drawing for the ORCA cards.
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.