$9,641 = Annual Savings Taking Public Transportation In USA

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Riding public transportation is a vital means of saving money, money that can much more happily be spent on other things than on owning, driving, and maintaining a car. Transit riders can forget about auto insurance, car payments, fuel costs, tuneups at the mechanic, expensive broken car parts, etc.

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) provides helpful insight into these savings each month when it releases its “Transit Savings Report.” For some recent history, you can view the September savings report here, October’s here, and now November’s here. From that most recent one, the American Public Transportation Association writes (emphasis added):

The national average gas price fell slightly as Americans prepare to give thanks with family and friends. Even with the dip in gas prices, there is still a great opportunity to save using public transportation instead of driving this holiday season.

The annual savings is $9,641 for a person who switches his or her daily commute by car to taking public transportation…. Individuals who ride public transportation instead of driving can save, on average, more than $803 per month.

transit benefits health saves life

Safety is one more factor. It is safer to travel by mass transit than in a car. But cash is often what talks to people, and there are few ways to save more money than dropping the car and taking transit (or bicycling).

Of course, savings depend on many factors that change based on the city and even the individual. You have to consider the cost of gas, how much you actually drive, the cost of transit, any time savings from being able to work (or play) while in transit rather than driving (something APTA doesn’t include at all), the cost of parking, monthly car payments, car insurance, the cost of parking, etc.


APTA worked out some estimates for the 20 largest metro areas in the United States to further help consider the savings. Have a look:

 City  Monthly  Annual
1 New York  $1,208 $14,501
2 San Francisco  $1,071 $12,849
3 Boston  $1,050 $12,596
4 Philadelphia  $973 $11,671
5 Seattle  $965 $11,583
6 Chicago  $955 $11,458
7 Honolulu  $935 $11,221
8 Los Angeles  $915 $10,984
9 San Diego  $869 $10,423
10 Portland  $858 $10,295
11 Minneapolis $838 $10,053
12 Baltimore $829 $9,950
13 Denver $827 $9,919
14 Washington, DC $810 $9,724
15 Pittsburgh $796 $9,553
16 Cleveland $783 $9,399
17 Miami $762 $9,143
18 Atlanta $757 $9,089
19 Las Vegas $748 $8,973
20 Dallas $743 $8,912

*Based on gasoline prices as reported by AAA on 11/21/16

Let’s just hope more cities consider the health costs of polluting buses and invest in all-electric buses. That will further add to the savings and also boost the local economy.

Related Story: Public Transit Saves Lives….A Lot of Lives (90% Safer If You Take Public Transportation Commutes APTA Study Finds)

Photos by Atomic Taco via flickr.com (CC BY-SA 4.0); Lexcie via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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Cynthia Shahan

Cynthia Shahan, started writing after previously doing research and publishing work on natural birth practices. Words can be used improperly depending on the culture you are in. (Several unrelated publications) She has a degree in Education, Anthropology, Creative Writing, and was tutored in Art as a young child thanks to her father the Doctor. Pronouns: She/Her

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