Using public transportation can save you money, relieve traffic congestion and give you a chance to decompress on your commute. Even more importantly, however, public transportation allows you to lighten your environmental footprint by reducing harmful emissions and the need for growing urban sprawl. So help save the planet by dumping your car keys for a bus, subway or light-rail pass.
Commit to using public transportation at least 1 to 2 days a week. According to the American Public Transportation Association, if Americans used mass transit for just 10 percent of their weekly transportation needs, the U.S. would reduce its foreign oil dependency by nearly 40 percent and lower carbon monoxide emissions by around 25 percent.
Visit the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website for a list of public transportation resources in your area, along with contact information for each. Familiarize yourself with mass transit types and routes that will work for your commuting needs.
Support fare-free public transit. Write to your elected officials and the public transit system in your area to vocalize the need for a reduction or removal of fares. Public transportation systems could save a lot of money without hiring employees to run ticket windows and paying for the expensive maintenance of ticketing machines. According to Alternet.org, New York City spends about $200 million a year to collect transit fares. Check out Alternet’s full article to read more about the benefits of free fares.
Lobby the representative in your area if your city needs to be more proactive about public transportation. Encourage officials to allocate money to fund the installation and maintenance of light rail and rapid transit bus systems and expand current systems to outlying areas. To find your representative and his contact information, visit Project Vote Smart.
Take the light rail or subway instead of the bus. If your area offers rail or underground service, you’ll reduce your environmental footprint even more than by using the bus. To compare the impact of various transit forms on the Earth.
Ride your bike to subway or rail stations rather than driving. Most stations have bike racks where you can secure your wheels for the day, while some mass transit systems even allow you to take your bike with you when you board.