According to the Texas Transportation Institute, public transit reduced road delays by 865 million hours in 2011, and avoided the consumption of 450 million gallons of fuel.
“This report demonstrates how important public transportation is, not only as one of the solutions to reducing traffic congestion, but also in reducing fuel use and travel delays,” said American Public Transportation Association (APTA) President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. “Mayors know that a city’s competitive position is enhanced by reducing congestion and public transportation is a key tool in minimizing congestion.”
Public transportation by bus has the potential to save fuel (if enough people use it), partially because the total amount of weight that has to be transported per person is significantly less than that of personal cars.
For example: A sedan would normally weight about 3,000 pounds, and one person driving the sedan would entail a transportation weight per person of 3,150 pounds, if the person weighs 150 pounds. If eighty-four 150-pound people drove cars instead of taking a bus, that would amount to a gross vehicle weight of 264,600 pounds.
A 84 passenger bus that weighs just 22,000 pounds can carry all 84 of these people. The combined weight of the people is 12,600 pounds plus the 22,000 pounds of the bus is 34,600 pounds, which is 230,000 pounds less than the weight of the cars mentioned above.
Of course, there are similar space and time savings. This is why public transportation is so fuel and cost efficient.
The use of public transportation annually saves Americans 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline, APTA added. As public transportation saves the population money, it also frees up income for the payment of bills, or even an improved standard of living. Also, for every $1 billion invested in public transportation, 36,000 jobs are created and supported.