February is Transit Month! Many programs are available to all DWR employees to help take advantage of alternate modes of transportation. Walking, biking, light rail, buses, carpools and vanpools all help reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as offer other benefits of saving money and improving health benefits. The following photos show some of the great reasons for choosing alternative modes of transportation!
(All photos creditied to investintransit.org. Their images express the many reasons for public transit very well.)
For more information on both DWR's and TMA's programs and services, click on the links below:
DWR Links and Information
Sacramento TMA Links and Information
Not everyone likes to drive as the above graphic demonstrates. Hopefully, this site will help you make the transition from the single driver commuter to more sustainable commuting. Sometimes, the transition can be as simple as comparing the cost of various kinds of commuting. To accurately compare the cost of different forms of transportation, all costs need to be calculated, even the hidden costs; those costs we don't normally consider. For more information on the hidden costs of commuting and to calculate your own actual cost, the following website has a commuter calculator where you enter your own commuting statistics and find out what you are actually paying to commute.
Bad, bad congestion.
Oh, how you try my patience.
Where’s that bus schedule?
Commuting is a major part of our lives and by making smart commuting choices, we can all help our community become more sustainable.
Smart choices do not mean making do with less; rather it means maximizing all potential benefits. For example, for those people who chose to walk or bike to work, they enjoy the added benefits of fitness and an opportunity to enjoy just being outdoors. Local transit riders as well as car and van pool commuters enjoy the extra benefits of paying less for parking and fuel as well as having the opportunity for making new friends and socializing.
All alternate forms of transportation aid in reducing greenhouse gases, reducing other types of air pollution including particulates and reducing traffic congestion. It is also important to recognize the amount of time wasted by clogged roadways! When everyone drives alone to save time on their daily commute, everyone is late!
Public Transportation Benefits
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 Consists of a Variety of Modes
- Trolleys and light rail
- Commuter trains
- Cable cars
- Van pool services
- Paratransit services for Senior citizens and people with disabilities
- Ferries and water taxis
- Monorails and tramways
- In 2010, Americans took 10.2 billion trips on public transportation.
- 35 million times each weekday, people board public transportation.
- From 1995 through 2010, public transportation ridership increased by 31%—a growth rate higher than the 17% increase in U.S. population and higher than the 24% growth in the use of the nation’s highways over the same period.
- Investment in the public transportation industry creates and supports over 1.9 million public and private sector jobs and is a $55 billion a year industry.
- More than 7,200 organizations provide public transportation in the United States.
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 785 million hours in travel time and 640 million gallons of fuel annually in congestion reduction alone.
- Without public transportation, congestion costs would have been an additional $19 billion.
Public Transportation Provides Economic Opportunities
- For every $1 invested in public transportation, $4 in economic returns is generated.
- Every $1 billion invested in public transportation supports and creates 36,000 jobs.
- 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 more than $10,000 every year.
Public Transportation Reduces Gasoline ConsumptionPublic 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 if 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%, or up to 30% if he or she eliminates a second car. When compared to other household actions that limit CO, taking public transportation can be 10 times greater in reducing this harmful greenhouse gas.