Public transportation plays a significant role in finding smart solutions to the challenges facing America today. Increased investment in public transportation is an investment in our planet.
Public transportation is the responsible environmental choice
- U.S. greenhouse gases from transportation represent 28 percent of total U.S. emissions.
- Public transportation saves 37 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually - equivalent to the emissions resulting from the electricity generated for the use of 4.9 million households or every household in Washington, DC; New York City; Atlanta; Denver; and Los Angeles combined.
- If an individual switches a 20-mile roundtrip commute to public transportation, his or her annual CO2 emissions will decrease by 4,800 pounds per year, equal to a 10 percent reduction in a two-car household's carbon footprint.
- Public transportation offers an immediate alternative for individuals seeking to reduce their energy use and carbon footprints. Taking public transportation far exceeds the combined benefits of using energy-efficient light bulbs, adjusting thermostats, weatherizing one's home, and replacing a refrigerator.
- Expanded public transit strategies coordinated with combining travel activity, land use development, and operational efficiencies can reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) by 24 percent. The annual savings in vehicle costs to consumers will exceed the cost of enacting these strategies by as much as $112 billion.
Public transportation agencies are reducing their carbon footprint
- Public transportation systems are investing in environmentally friendly vehicles such as dieselelectric hybrids, which are up to 40 percent more fuel efficient than conventional diesel buses.
- Transit systems have also made innovative investments to install solar technology and construct facilities that meet new energy-efficient standards including the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environment and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.
Beyond the environmental benefits, by investing now in public transportation we can also strengthen our economy, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and enhance our quality of life.
As America looks for solutions to today's challenges and begins planning for a better tomorrow, public transportation takes us there.