Dump the Pump, Save Money, Ride the WRTA
WORCESTER _ Once again the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) will be a participant in the Fifth Annual National Dump the Pump Day on Thursday, June 17. This national event, sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), is a day that encourages people to ride public transportation and save money by leaving their cars at home.
Locally, the WRTA has been a big proponent of the event, and this year they hope to have a record number of both new and returning riders.
“The WRTA wants to make riding public transit a more common occurrence for more people. We’ve added new hybrid buses and are adding new state-of-the-art technology to help streamline the riding process,” said WRTA Administrator Stephen O’Neil. “This day is the perfect day to take a test ride and see what public transportation is all about.”
According to the latest APTA Savings Report, by simply downsizing to one car an average two-person household can save $9,000 annually. The average household spends 18 cents out of every dollar on transportation, and 94 percent of this goes toward buying, maintaining, and operating cars, the largest expenditure after housing.
Not only does taking public transportation save money, it also saves fuel and reduces congestion. According to statistics supplied by ATPA, people living in areas serviced by public transportation save approximately 646 million hours in travel time and 398 million gallons of fuel annually in congested areas.
“In Worcester, savings is even more substantial since the hybrid buses use less fuel,” O’Neil said. “The hybrid buses offer a fuel savings of between 20 – 45 percent and a reduced emission of between 30 and 40 percent.”
APTA notes that communities that invest in public transit reduce the nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually. One person switching to public transportation can reduce daily carbon emissions by 20 pounds, or more than 4,800 pounds per year.
To encourage people to try riding the WRTA, any passenger who boards a WRTA bus on June 17, has a chance to win a free ride. Each rider can reach into a bag that will be on each bus and pick out a bus pass holder. Some of the pass holders will contain a single ride ticket.
“We want people who have never experienced public transportation to see what it’s like,” O’Neil said. “The benefits to public transportation are vast, and this is the perfect opportunity to find out what the WRTA has to offer.”