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The Environmental Benefits of Riding Public Transit

 

By DART First State

Riding public transit, when you can, is beneficial in many ways. Economically, it’s cost effective - especially with soaring gas prices. It also reduces your stress levels – someone else is driving. And, it goes a long way toward helping our environment – it conserves natural resources, reduces air pollution and harmful ozone levels. When it comes to our environment, riding public transit makes a big difference.

How Public Transit Helps Conserve Energy:

  • A bus with as few as seven passengers is more fuel-efficient than the average single-occupant auto used for commuting.
  • The fuel efficiency of a fully occupied bus is six times greater than that of the average single-occupant auto.
  • The fuel efficiency of a fully-occupied train car is 15 times greater than that of the average commuter's single-occupant auto.
  • In terms of energy consumption per passenger mile (energy used to transport one passenger one mile), transit is more energy efficient.
  • Buses use 8.7% less energy per passenger mile than a typical automobile.
  • Commuter trains use 23.7% less energy per passenger mile than a typical automobile.

How Public Transit Helps Reduce Air Pollution:

  • Public transit moves people efficiently while producing significantly less air pollution to move one passenger one mile -- compared to moving a person one mile in a single-occupant auto.
  • Buses emit only 20% as much carbon monoxide per passenger mile as a single-occupant auto.
  • Buses emit only 10% as many hydrocarbons per passenger mile as a single-occupant auto (hydrocarbons are VOCs – an ozone precursor).
  • Buses emit only 75% as many nitrogen oxides (another ozone precursor) per passenger mile as a single-occupant auto.
  • Trains emit only 25% as many nitrogen oxides per passenger mile as a single-occupant auto, and nearly 100% less hydrocarbons and carbon monoxides.

Clearly, riding public transit throughout the year makes a big difference in our air quality and use of natural resources. During the summer months, when harmful ozone levels are highest, riding public transit makes an even greater difference -- especially for those with health and breathing problems. Ride Transit. It’s the Smart and Healthy Way to Go!

DART First State provides bus and train transit, Park and Ride facilities, carpooling and several other services. To find out more, contact DART at 1-800-652-DART (1-800-553 DART in Sussex County) or visit www.DartFirstState.com.

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