Wednesday, November 12 2008 @ 05:29 PM UTC
Contributed by: B' Spokes
* In 2005, Americans took 9.7 billion trips on public transportation - 15 times the number of trips they took on domestic airlines. 1,2
* From 1995 through 2005, public transportation ridership increased by 25 percent, 1,3 a growth rate higher than the 11 percent increase in U.S. population4 and higher than the 22 percent growth in use of the nation's highways over the same period.
* Without public transportation, travel delays would have increased by 27 percent.
* Public transportation produces 95 percent less carbon monoxide (CO), 90 percent less in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and about half as much carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx), per passenger mile, as private vehicles.
* Real estate-residential, commercial or business-that is served by public transportation is valued more highly by the public than similar properties not as well served by transit.
* More than four in five seniors believe public transportation is a better alternative to driving alone, especially at night.
Each year, public transportation use in the U.S. saves:
* 1.4 billion gallons of gasoline, representing 4 million gallons of gasoline per day
* The equivalent of 34 supertankers of oil, or a supertanker leaving the Middle East every 11 days
* The equivalent of 140,769 fewer service station tanker trucks clogging our streets each year
* The equivalent of 300,000 fewer automobile fill-ups each day
In addition to reduced pollution, direct health benefits of public transportation include:
* Lower rates of respiratory and heart disease. The health effects of mobile source pollution can be severe and even life-threatening, particularly to children, older adults and adults with respiratory illnesses. Many groups are at greater risk because of chronic lung or cardiovascular disease, including people with diabetes, whose cardiovascular systems are threatened by particle pollution.
* Lower accident rates. According to a 2006 report, public transit has 0.03 fatal accidents per 100 million miles-about 1/25th the rate for automobiles; injuries as well as fatalities are reduced.19
* Quality of life. Public transportation fosters a more active lifestyle, encouraging more people to walk, bike and jog to transit stops. An analysis of 2001 National Household Travel Survey data for transit users finds that walking to and from transit helps inactive persons attain a significant portion of the recommended minimum daily exercise they need; 29 percent of respondents get 30 minutes or more of exercise a day from walking to or from transit.20