APTA: January Transit Savings Report

Add Public Transportation to Your New Year Resolutions and Get Healthy Physically and Fiscally

Washington, D.C. Is getting more exercise one of your New Year resolutions? If so, you can get in a little extra workout with the walk to and from public transportation while saving money. Taking public transit is a healthier way to commute and it can be an important element to healthier finances.

The annual savings is $9,162 for a person who switches their daily commute by car to taking public transportation, according to the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) January Transit Savings Report. Individuals who ride public transportation instead of driving can save, on average, more than $764 per month.

These savings are based on the cost of commuting by public transportation compared to the cost of owning and driving a vehicle which includes the January 19, 2016 average national gas price ($1.88 per gallon- reported by AAA), and the national unreserved monthly parking rate numbers.

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 2012 Colliers International Parking Rate Study, which is the most recent report available.  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 January 19, 2016 and the local monthly unreserved parking rate.*

 City Monthly Annual
1New York $1,169$14,023
2San Francisco $1,042$12,501
3Boston $1,011$12,137
4Philadelphia $933$11,199
5Seattle $927$11,124
6Chicago $913$10,950
7Los Angeles $898$10,772
8Honolulu $894$10,723
9San Diego $850$10,198
10Portland $818$9,817
14Washington, DC$768$9,213
15Pittsburgh$754 $9,043
16Cleveland$737 $8,849
17Miami$725 $8,697
18Las Vegas$722 $8,670
19Atlanta$715 $8,585
20Dallas$704 $8,453


*Based on gasoline prices as reported by AAA on 1/19/16


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 2015 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 January 19, 2016 at $1.88 per gallon.  The analysis also assumes that a person will drive an average of 15,000 miles per year.  The savings is based on the assumption 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, go to www.publictransportation.org.

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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products. More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.


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CAT Service Alert!

There has been changes to bus schedules for Routes 3 West Chatham, 3B Augusta Ave, 4 Barnard, and the 25 MLK. There is also a new Route, the 5 Port Wentworth. These changes went into effect 11 March, 2024.

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