Environmental Benefits of Public Transportation
The issue of climate change and protecting the environment has become an increasingly important matter. Public transportation greatly benefits the environment and enhances the quality of life for all Americans.
By supporting investment for public transportation, both transit user and non-user
benefit – traffic congestion is relieved; petroleum consumption is reduced; less pollution occurs; and an increased quality of life and health exists for everyone.
Facts & Figures:
Public Transportation Increasing Ridership:
- In 2009, Americans took 10.2 billion trips on public transportation.
- 35 million times each weekday, people board public transportation.
- Since 1995, public transportation ridership has increased 31 percent.
Public Transportation Reduces Greenhouse Gases and Conserves Energy:
- The “leverage effect” of public transportation reduces the nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually – equivalent to the electricity used by 4.9 million households.
- To achieve similar reduction in carbon emissions, every household in New York City, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Denver and Los Angeles combined would have to completely stop using electricity.
- People living in households within one-quarter mile of rail or one-tenth mile from a bus stop drive approximately 4,400 fewer miles annually compared to persons in similar households with no access to public transit.
- This equates to an individual household reduction of 223 gallons of gasoline a year.
Public Transportation Reduces Gasoline Consumption:
- The “leverage effect” of public transportation, supporting transportation efficient land use patterns, saves 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline – more than three times the amount of gasoline refined from the oil we import from Kuwait.
- Public transportation use saves the equivalent of 900,000 automobile fill-ups every day.
- The typical public transit rider consumes on average one half of the oil consumed by an automobile rider.