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Reducing America's Need for Oil

It's a fact, public transportation helps to reduce our need on oil. See why riding is not only a great means of getting from here to there, but a way to help your community and the planet become a lot mre GREEN. >>PDF

Transit Facts at a Glance

(Facts courtesy of

Public transportation in the United States is a crucial part of the solution to the nation’s economic, energy, and environmental challenges — helping to bring a better quality of life. In increasing numbers, people are using public transportation and local communities are expanding public transit services. Every segment of American society — individuals, families, communities, and businesses — benefits from public transportation.

Public Transportation Reduces Gasoline Consumption

  • Public transportation’s overall effects save the United States 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually:– more than 3 times the amount of gasoline imported from Kuwait.
  • Households near public transit drive an average of 4,400 fewer miles than households with no access to public transit. This equates to an individual household reduction of 223 gallons per year.
  • Households that use public transportation and live with one less car can save on average $9,000 every year.

Public Transportation Reduces Carbon Footprint

  • Communities that invest in public transit reduce the nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually:– equivalent to New York City; Washington, DC; Atlanta; Denver; and Los Angeles combined stopping using electricity.
  • One person switching to public transit can reduce daily carbon emissions by 20 pounds, or more than 4,800 pounds in a year.
  • A single commuter switching his or her commute to public transportation can reduce a household’s carbon emissions by 10% and up to 30% if he or she eliminates a second car. When compared to other household actions that limit CO2, taking public transportation can be 10 times greater in reducing this harmful greenhouse gas.

Public Transportation Saves Fuel, Reduces Congestion

  • Access to bus and rail lines reduces driving by 4,400 miles per household annually.
  • Americans living in areas served by public transportation save 646 million hours in travel time and 398 million gallons of fuel annually in congestion reduction alone.
  • Without public transportation, congestion costs would have been an additional $13.7 billion.

Quick Facts

  • From 1995 through 2008, public transportation ridership increased by 38%—a growth rate higher than the 14% increase in U.S. population and higher than the 21% growth in the use of the nation’s highways over the same period.
  • Public transportation is a $48.4 billion industry that employs more than 380,000 people.

Public Transportation Enhances Personal Opportunities

  • Public transportation provides personal mobility and freedom for people from every walk of life.
  • Access to public transportation gives people transportation options to get to work, go to school, visit friends, or go to a doctor’s office.
  • Public transportation provides access to job opportunities for millions of Americans.

Public Transportation Provides Economic Opportunities

  • Every dollar communities invest in public transportation generates approximately $4 in economic returns.
  • Every $10 million in capital investment in public transportation yields $30 million in increased business sales.
  • Every $10 million in operating investment yields $32 million in increased business sales.

Public Transportation Saves Money

  • The average household spends 18 cents of every dollar on transportation, and 94% of this goes to buying, maintaining, and operating cars, the largest expenditure after housing.
  • Public transportation provides an affordable, and for many, necessary, alternative to driving.
  • Households that are likely to use public transportation on a given day save over $8,400 every year.

511 Logo

Pennsylvania Public Transportation Association (PPTA)
is a state-wide, non-profit, professional trade association, which provides leadership, resources, support and technical assistance. PPTA, on behalf of public transportation providers, is a unified voice serving to advocate and strengthen the role of public transportation in improving the quality of life for all Pennsylvania citizens.

Commuter Services PA


Since there is far more demand for transportation projects than there is money, working to manage traffic demand must be part of our overall transportation strategy. We created Commuter Services of Pennsylvania to provide free services to encourage commuting options, other than driving alone.
Commuter Services works with employers and commuters on a range of alternatives, offers a free emergency ride home program and provides online ride matching.

This joint effort for Lebanon, Dauphin, Lancaster, Berks, York, Cumberland, Franklin, Adams and Perry counties is supported by chambers, metropolitan planning organizations and transit providers, including COLT. The free services are underwritten primarily through federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) dollars.

There are more than one million commuters in the nine-county Commuter Services region. When we reduce single occupancy vehicles during rush hours, we can remove a miles of traffic and tons of vehicle emissions from our roadways. We all have a stake in ensuring that kind of success.

You can reach program director,Matt Boyer, and the staff of Commuter Services at 1-866-579-RIDE or by visiting .

How much can you save?
Why should you ride trasit? How about saving thousands a year! >>

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Public Transportation Articles:

Articles courtesy of

Taking Public Transit Might Help You Stay Slim
Steven Reinberg
June 29, 2010

"When cities create or improve light rail public transit systems, citizens' waistlines may benefit, a new study shows."

To Address Demand for Oil, We Must Focus on Transportation
Congressman Earl Blumenauer
DC Streetsblog
June 21, 2010

Missed Opportunity: BP Gulf of Mexico Disaster
Barry Ritholtz
June 23, 2010

Amsterdam Public Transportation Gets an Artistic Inspiration
Susie Kim-Carberry
Green Building Elements
June 23, 2010

Don’t Take My Ride! Cuts in public transportation hit older Americans hard
Jay Walljasper
AARP Bulletin
May 31, 2010

10 ways cities and towns can kick the offshore-oil habit
Jonathan Hiskes
June 2, 2010

Spotlight on the World Cup: South Africa Boosts City Transit Systems
Victoria Broadus
The City Fix
June 1, 2010

Senior citizens upset over public transportation budget cuts
Meredith Farley
June 1, 2010

"...elder citizens often choose to forgo driving and instead rely on the bus and subway to get around."

APTA: 52% to use public transportation for summer vacation
May 28, 2010

"Fifty-two percent of summer vacationers in the U.S. will use local public transportation systems to get around during their trip..."

Metro, national transit workers rally on Capitol hill for more federal funding
Ann Scott Tyson
The Washington Post
April 28, 2010

"Thousands of local and national transit workers rallied Tuesday on Capitol Hill for greater and more flexible federal funding for the country's ailing public transportation systems."

Would streetcars in D.C. spoil the city's vistas?
Philip Kennicott
Washington Post
April 18, 2010

"Does the District of Columbia want to awe America, or inspire it?"

Menendez Proposes Tax Credit for Transit-Oriented Development
Elana Schor
DC Streets Blog
April 15, 2010

"New construction projects that are within a half-mile of transit stations and exceeding national energy-efficiency standards would be eligible for a tax credit under legislation..."

Which Cities Save Commuters the Most With Public Transport?
Sara Murray
The Wall Street Journal
April 6, 2010

"With gas prices going up again it might be worth it to consider public transportation instead."

Mass Transit Sales Tax Wins by a Wide Margin
Ken Leiser
Saint Louis Post-Dispatch
April 7, 2010

"By a wide margin, county voters approved a half-cent increase to the transit sales tax"

Q.&A.: Transportation Secretary on Biking, Walking and ‘What Americans Want’
Leora Broydo Vestel
The New York Times
April, 5, 2010

Planning your public transit ride doesn’t have to be a drag
Noam Ben-Haim
Google Lat Long Blog>March 30, 2010

Surprise! Americans Want Public Transportation
Keith Barry
March 30, 2010

"Hot on the heels of debate over a new transportation spending bill, a new poll shows that most Americans want to see more funding for public transportation..."

Transit Operating Aid Bill Doesn’t Fly With Major D.C. Transit Group
Elana Schor
DC Streets Blog
March 23, 2010

Should Bikes And Cars Be Treated Equally?
National Journal Blog
March 22, 2010

Superbus Designed By Students Make Public Transportation Look Cool
March 20, 2010

Let's Get Better Connected Through Mass Transit
Robin Thoman, Barbara Lawrence & Joe Wright
Indianapolis Star
March 1, 2010

APTA President Applauds President Obama's State of the Union Address
Jan. 27, 2010

ASU student develops light rail iPhone application
April Atwood
State Press
Jan. 25, 2010

Public Transportation Creates More Jobs
Daily Kos
Jan. 23, 2010

Obama Administration Proposes Major Public Transportation Policy Shift to Highlight Livability
Paul Griffo
Jan. 13, 2010

"U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today proposed that new funding guidelines for major transit projects..."

Gas Prices Could Soar to $3
Nicole McGregor
12 News Today
Jan. 11, 2010

"2009 ended quietly in the gas world. Nothing outstanding. But then 2010 hit. Gas prices are going up."

Public-Transit Passengers Face Rough Ride
Sara Murray
The Wall Street Journal
Jan. 2, 2010

Public Transit Best Vehicle for Economic Recovery
Progressive States Network
Jan. 8, 2010

"It is estimated that the average American household spends 19% of its income in transportation..."

APTA: Public Transit Projects Support, Create Jobs
Metro Magazine
Dec. 2, 2009

"APTA called on Congress to invest at least $15 billion in public transportation to support and create hundreds of thousands of jobs and stimulate the economy."

Why Portland’s Mass Transit Rocks
Zach Rosenberg
Nov. 16, 2009

"Portland, Oregon is routinely ranked among the best transit cities in the country. The accolades certainly are deserved."

Obama Calls For ‘More Creative’ Ways to Pay For Infrastructure
Elana Schor
Nov. 2, 2009

"...President Obama emphasized the importance of shoring up the nation's crumbling infrastructure but warned that the mounting federal deficit would require "more creative, new approaches to financing" investment in transit, bridges, and road repairs."

The College Sustainability 2010 Report Card - Transportation
Nov. 2009
"The list of Transportation Leaders is comprised of 105 schools that earned “A” grades in this category."

The Real Cost of Commuting to Work: How You Can Save Money by Using Public Transportation
Matt Krumrie
Minneapolis Workplace Examiner
Nov. 11, 2009

"Have you ever thought about taking the bus to work?"

Hesitation and Praise Greet Obama Administration’s Transit Safety Plan
Elana Schor
Nov. 16, 2009

"Details of the Obama administration's proposal to carve out a federal presence overseeing transit safety..."

US Public Transport Use Rose In '08 Amid Gasoline Price Surge
David Bird
Sept. 23, 2009

"The percentage of workers commuting by public transportation, excluding taxicabs, hit 5% in 2008, fractionally up from a year earlier."

Driving down in 2008, congestion down much more
Transportation For America
July 8, 2009

How to make a city green -- without tearing it down
Michael Fitzgerald
Boston Globe
June 28, 2009

"As the world warms, it’s also getting more urban - more than half the world’s population now lives in and around cities. So when it comes to sustainable living, cities pose a growing challenge."

$20 Billion Needed For Highway, Transit Projects
Audie Cornish

"The Highway Trust Fund is almost out of money and current law is about to expire."

Study: Use mass transit, save more than $9,000 a year
Ariel Hart
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
June 19, 2009

Dump the Dump Day
June 19, 2009

‘Dump the Pump’ > spare the air > save money > ch’-ching!
June 19, 2009

Buses and Beyond: 10 Cities with Great Transit
Time For Feds To Fund Mass Transit Operating Expenses?
Lisa Caruso
June 1, 2009

"Americans are using public transportation in record numbers -- taking 10.7 billion trips last year, an increase of 4 percent over 2007..."

Senate Bill Steers Away From the Car
Alec MacGillis
Washington Post
May 14, 2009

"...a strong emphasis on reducing automobile use and carbon emissions and boosting public transit, inter-city rail and rail freight service."

Biden Calls for Transportation System Overhaul
Beth DeFalco
Associated Press
May 8, 2009

"The country needs a radical restructuring of its transportation network in to compete with other countries and keep jobs at home, Vice President Joe Biden said."

U.S. Leaders Say More Infrastructure Spending Needed
Andy Sullivan
March 22, 2009

Transit Use Hit Five-Decade High in 2008 as Gas Prices Rose
Michael Cooper
The New York Times
March 9, 2009

"More people rode the nation’s public buses, subways and commuter trains last year than in any year since 1956, when the federal government created the Interstate highway system..."

Biden Seeks Upgrades for Maryland Train Station
Brian Westley
Feb. 5, 2009

"Vice President Joe Biden campaigned for President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package Thursday, touring a suburban Washington train station he said is one of thousands nationwide that would benefit from the new spending."

A Pitch for Mass Transit
New York Times
Jan. 5, 2009

"Barack Obama is going to enter office with a clear appreciation of the urgent problems of climate change and America’s growing dependency on foreign oil — and a strong commitment to address both."

GO GREEN Testimonials:
Courtesy of

Mike Peters
"For me it's a good way to get a little exercise..."

Scott MacMillan
"I have been commuting to work for YEARS.....! I have actually put more miles on my bicycle this year than I did on my truck..."

Mark Inge
"This was my first bus ride & it was cool! Relaxing. Taking in the scenery... People were walking around. Waving to each other. Having conversations. Sometimes we miss out on things living in the suburbs..."

Keith Spangler
"Besides saving fuel, I get to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful sunrises. I've also started riding my bike to the gym and to the store while at home. The other weekend I left the truck at work for three days and used the bike to get around. What fun... "
Commuter Services note: please see their Bike & Walk page for helpful tips and click here to check out PennDOT's bike safety page, where you can find state bicycle laws and other important information!

Ellen Morgan
"I was driving at least 62 miles/day to get to and from work. According to the calculator on (I recommend this website!), I spend roughly $ 7,700 per year in gas, tolls and maintenance and insurance. Much like everybody else, gas prices are hitting my budget hard and making that cost go up with each gas price adjustment...




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