Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Commute that Pays You Back!

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) released their new Transit Savings report showing how much Americans can save by leaving their car in the garage and taking public transportation. The APTA report shows that on average, Americans can save $10,116 a year or $843 a month.

Over $10,000 a year by giving up the wheel, picking up a book and letting HART do the driving! With the cost of a 1-day unlimited ride pass at $3.75 a day ($60 MONTHLY pass) and most routes running every 15-30 minutes, your weekly $60 fill up doesn't look so tantalizing anymore, eh?

We previously mentioned on this blog around the New Year, the Top 10 Reasons to Try Transit in 2011. Our #2 reason to try transit was the threat of $3-a-gallon gas. Only four months removed from that list, and crude oil prices on the rise, we are looking at close to $4-a-gallon gas.

Riding with HART makes even more sense when you realize that monetary savings are only one piece of the puzzle. Studies show that transit riders are three times more likely to meet fitness guidelines (30 minutes a day of physical activity) than drivers. Not to mention the reduction in stress by trading in the steer-wheel gripping gridlock for a nice book or end-of-day power nap.

The suh-weetest part of it all, is that should you find yourself in an emergency or an unplanned situation, you can catch a taxi cab ride to your destination, FREE. Actually, you can catch up to eight free taxi cabs annually. There are some restrictions, but as long as you ride the bus two times a week, TBARTA Commuter Services has you covered. To register, call them at (800) 998-RIDE.

If you're not yet convinced on transit, how about the good ol' fashion "everyone else is doing it" argument? Going "green" is in and terms like "global warming", "carbon footprint", and "eco-friendly" have all become a part of the general vernacular. Do you have energy-efficient light bulbs, low-flow shower-heads, and recycle bins in your house, but then drive a gas guzzler to work? Then, there is still work to be done.

The ultimate green initiative is public transportation!

According to APTA, public transportation reduces energy consumption to the tune of 4.2 billion gallons of gas a year, or the equivalent to 320 million cars filling up - 900,000 times a day. A household's biggest carbon footprint contributor is their car. One person switching their 20-mile commute to public transportation can also reduce their carbon footprint by 4,800 pounds of CO2 annually. CO2, or carbon dioxide emissions have been linked to global climate change known as "global warming".

Hopefully by now, you're at least considering a trip on HART. Should you need a bigger push, then try us out - FREE! On Earth Day - April 22, HART is offering FREE rides on all local routes when you board with a friend. They don't even have to be your BFF (best friend forever). Make a new friend at your stop and give HART a shot. We feel that you'll be pleasantly surprised at how affordable, clean, convenient, and awesome it is to get around with HART.

Trust us, your mind, body, and wallet will thank you!

To calculate how much you individually can save by switching to transit, visit APTA's Fuel Savings Calculator.

For information on HART services, visit, or for a "how-to ride" HART video, visit our YouTube channel.

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Comments to this blog are moderated by HART staff. Constructive comments are welcome; any obscene, threatening, or otherwise inappropriate comments will be deleted before posting. Questions about specific service ("is my bus on time?") cannot be answered here, and should be directed to the HARTinfo Line at (813) 254-HART (4278). General questions may be addressed in future posts.