The use of public transportation has a multitude of advantages, and most who make the switch determined that after an adjustment period, they actually preferred public transportation to driving.
Used on conventional roads to carry numerous passengers on short journeys, buses operate with low capacity and with relatively inexpensive bus stops to serve passengers. Comparing the cost of a bus pass to the cost of driving a car to work (gas, parking and auto maintenance), riding the bus is more economical. 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 use public transportation and live with one less car can save on average $9,000 every year.
Convenience is another advantage of riding the bus. Most buses run on a set schedule that you can plan your commuting time around. No more roaming around looking for parking or sitting in traffic. Some say that buses and trains take longer than driving, but if you consider that driving is “lost time” that you can better spend reading or relaxing while leaving the driving to someone else, you come out way ahead time-wise.
One of the most significant advantages of riding the bus is the environment. 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 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 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
Public Transportation Provides Economic Opportunities
- For every $1 invested in public transportation, $4 is generated 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 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
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
* Source: American Public Transportation Association, Washington, D.C.