With More Transit Service Available, Drivers Have More Reasons to Dump the Pump on June 18

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Seattle metro gas prices have risen 5 cents the past week

Several Puget Sound transit agencies have increased service heading into the summer, and more increases are on the way.

In addition, gas prices are at their highest level this year. AAA Washington reports the average price of regular gasoline in the Seattle metro area is $3.16 a gallon, up 5 cents in the past week and 36 cents higher than the national average.

It's the perfect time for daily drivers to "dump the pump" and consider taking transit.

Thursday, June 18, 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.

Local transit increases
In early June, many local transit agencies put more service on the road.

  • King County Metro Transit increased its bus service following a successful Seattle ballot measure and is planning additional improvements to reduce overcrowding and delay.
  • Pierce Transit increased service 3 percent in its core service area and on weekends.
  • Everett Transit is increasing bus service 4 percent this summer.
  • Community Transit increased bus service 10 percent, including the return of Sunday and holiday service, and will implement new schedule changes to improve reliability this fall.
  • Both Community Transit and Sound Transit soon will be introducing more double decker buses to add extra seats on regional trips from Snohomish County.

Local public transportation agencies provide 200 million trips annually and, with the economy picking up, transit ridership is growing. That means fewer automobiles clogging the region's roadways and more savings for transit commuters.

Save money
A typical commuter who leaves his or her car behind each workday can save hundreds or thousands of dollars a year just by avoiding gas and parking costs.

Drivers are encouraged to learn how much they can save by using the Fuel Savings Calculator on the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) website, 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.

Helpful tools
Did you know that you don't need cash to ride local transit? Many of the region's public transportation agencies use ORCA, a regional fare card which allows passengers to seamlessly transfer between different systems without having to rummage for the exact fare. More information about ORCA is available at 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. Many agencies even have real-time information available, so you can learn if your bus or train is on-time or running late.

June is also Ride Transit Month. Track your transit trips and you can be eligible to win prizes. For more information, go to ridetransitmonth.org.

If you are looking for people to carpool with, try Rideshareonline, a tool to help find ride-sharing partners. Visit rideshareonline.org.

National Dump the Pump Day is sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association and these local public transportation agencies:

Community Transit, communitytransit.org; Everett Transit, everetttransit.org; Intercity Transit, intercitytransit.com; King County Metro Transit, kingcounty.gov/metro; Kitsap Transit, kitsaptransit.org; Pierce Transit, piercetransit.org; Sound Transit, soundtransit.org; and Washington State Ferries, wsdot.wa.gov/ferries.