Benefits of Public Transportation
Between 1990 and 2006, emissions in the transportation sector increased by more than 25%, representing almost half of the total national growth in greenhouse gas emissions during this period.
Public transportation use reduces travel by private vehicles
Those who choose to ride public transportation reduce their carbon footprint and conserve energy by eliminating travel that would have otherwise been made in a private vehicle. The result is fewer vehicle miles of travel and reduced emissions.
Public transportation use reduces congestion
Public transportation serves some of the most congested travel corridors and regions in the country. Increased use of public transportation in these areas eases congestion; as a result, automobiles traveling in these same corridors achieve greater fuel efficiency
Public transportation use is one of the most effective actions individuals can take.
Public transportation offers an immediate alternative for individuals seeking to reduce their energy use and carbon footprints. This action far exceeds the benefits of other energy saving household activities, such as using energy efficient light bulbs or adjusting thermostats.
Public transportation gives people energy efficient choices.
Public transportation reduces overall greenhouse gas emissions without reducing the mobility so vital to our nation’s economic health and our citizens’ quality of life. The increasing cost of fuel makes driving private vehicles even more prohibitive for many. Public transportation households save an average of $6,251 every year3—even more as the price of fuel rises.
Public transportation is essential to energy efficient land use patterns.
Efficient land use produces results far beyond the immediate benefit of increased use of public transportation. It has the potential to significantly change the way we live and travel, reducing our individual carbon footprints while preserving and enhancing our mobility.
Protect and preserve public transportation service where it exists today.
Public transportation ridership has increased by 30% since 1995—a growth rate more than twice that of population, and greater than vehicle miles of travel. As transit ridership has increased, a number of systems are struggling to maintain the quality of assets and consequently the quality and reliability of service. Systems must be adequately funded to allow people who are choosing public transportation, more than 10 billion trips annually, to stay on public transportation.
Expand capacity of existing public transportation services.
In many parts of the country, public transportation systems are operating beyond their design capacity. With future annual ridership growth projected at 3.5% annually, it will be difficult for a number of these systems to carry additional riders without significant new investment.
- is estimated to reduce CO2 emissions by 37 million metric tons annually.
- saves fuel, reduces an individual’s carbon footprint, and reduces congestion.
- provides an immediate option individuals can take to reduce their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
- use by a solo commuter switching his/her commute from a private vehicle can reduce CO2 emissions by 20 pounds per day—more than 4,800 pounds in a year.
- use saves the U.S. the equivalent of 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually—more than 11 million gallons of gasoline per day.
- provides an affordable alternative to driving. Households that use public transportation save an average of $6,251 every year.
- ridership has increased 30% since 1995, with more than 10 billion trips taken annually.
- is a national priority that should be specifically targeted by climate change and energy legislation. We all have a stake in expanding public transportation use.