Washington, D.C.– Join millions of Americans as more than 100 local public transportation systems from around the country are expected to participate in National Dump the Pump Day on June 15. New riders and savvy public transit veterans alike are encouraged to leave their cars at home and count their savings as they ride the bus or rails.
The annual savings is $9,797 for a person who switches his or her daily commute by car to taking public transportation, according to the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) June Transit Savings Report. Individuals who ride public transportation instead of driving can save, on average, more than $816 per month.
These savings are based on the cost of commuting by public transportation compared to the cost of owning and driving a vehicle. These costs include the June 2, 2017, national average gas price ($2.38 per gallon, as reported by AAA) and the national unreserved monthly parking rate.
APTA releases this monthly Transit Savings Report to examine how an individual in a two-person household can save money by taking public transportation and living with one less car.
The national average for a monthly unreserved parking space in a downtown business district is $166.26, according to the latest report of the Colliers International Parking Rate Study. Over the course of a year, parking costs for a vehicle can amount to an average of $1,995.
The top 20 cities with the highest public transit ridership are ranked in order of their transit savings based on the purchase of a monthly public transit pass. The savings also factor in local gas prices for June 2, 2017, and the local monthly unreserved parking rate.*
City / Monthly / Annual
New York / $1,218 / $14,612
San Francisco / $1,097 / $13,167
Boston / $1,060 / $12,726
Philadelphia / $988 / $11,853
Seattle / $978 / $11,739
Chicago / $970 / $11,643
Honolulu / $944 / $11,325
Los Angeles / $932 / $11,179
San Diego / $844 / $10,605
Portland / $873 / $10,477
Minneapolis / $858 / $10,300
Denver / $843 / $10,120
Baltimore / $840 / $10,079
Washington, DC / $819 / $9,834
Pittsburgh / $810 / $9,722
Cleveland / $795 / $9,542
Miami / $771 / $9,247
Atlanta / $766 / $9,187
Dallas / $761 / $9,133
Las Vegas / $760 / $9,122
*Based on gasoline prices as reported by AAA on 6/2/17
APTA calculates the average cost of taking public transit by determining the cost of the average monthly transit pass of local public transit agencies across the country. This information is based on the annual APTA fare collection survey and is weighted based on ridership (unlinked passenger trips). The assumption is that a person making a switch to public transportation would likely purchase an unlimited pass on the local public transit agency, typically available on a monthly basis.
APTA then compares the average monthly transit fare to the average cost of driving. The cost of driving is calculated using the 2016 AAA average cost of driving formula. That formula is based on variable and fixed costs. The variable costs include the cost of gas, maintenance and tires. The fixed costs include insurance, license registration, depreciation and finance charges. The comparison also uses the average mileage of a mid-size auto at 23.1 miles per gallon and the price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline as recorded by AAA on June 2, 2017 at $2.38 per gallon. The analysis also assumes that a person will drive an average of 15,000 miles per year. The savings assumes that a person in a two-person household lives with one less car.
In determining the cost of parking, APTA uses the data from the 2012 Colliers International Parking Rate Study for monthly unreserved parking rates for the United States which is the most recent report available.
To calculate your individual savings, with or without car ownership, click here.
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