Public Transit Green Facts
Public Transportation Reduces Greenhouse Gases and Conserves Energy
- The “leverage effect” of public transportation reduces the nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually – equivalent to the electricity used by 4.9 million households. To achieve similar reduction in carbon emissions, every household in New York City, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Denver and Los Angeles combines would have to completely stop using electricity.
Public Transportation Improves Air Quality
- Public transportation reduces pollution and helps promote cleaner air.
- Public transportation produces 95 percent less carbon monoxide (CO), 90 percent less in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and about half as much carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx), per passenger mile, as private vehicles. Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions represent 82 percent of total US human-made greenhouse emissions.
Public Transportation Reduces Gasoline Consumption
- Each year, public transportation use in the U.S. saves 1.4 billion gallons of gasoline. This represents almost 4 million gallons of gasoline per day.
- The “leverage effect” of public transportation, supporting transportation efficient land use patterns, saves 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline – more than three times the amount of gasoline refined from the oil we import from Kuwait.
- Each year, public transportation use saves the equivalent of 34 supertankers of oil, or a supertanker leaving the Middle East every 11 days.
- Each year, public transportation saves the equivalent of 140,769 service station tanker truck trips clogging our streets each year.
- Public transportation use saves the equivalent of 300,000 fewer automobile fill-ups every day.
- The typical public transit rider consumes on average one half of the oil consumed by an automobile rider.
Public Transportation Eases Traffic Congestion
- According to the most recent Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) report on congestion in 2005, public transportation saved travelers 541 million hours in travel time and 340 million gallons of fuel.
- Without public transportation, congestion costs would have been an additional $10.2 billion.
Public Transportation Fosters Healthy Lifestyles
- Public transportation fosters a more active lifestyle, encouraging more people to walk, bike and jog to transit stops. An analysis of 2001 National Household Travel Survey data for transit users finds that walking to and from transit helps inactive persons attain a significant portion of the recommended minimum daily exercise they need.