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Today is Dump the Pump Day!

Local transit agencies are celebrating the fourth annual National Dump the Pump Day in response to increasing gas prices.

The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace join public transportation systems nationwide to participate in the Fourth Annual National Dump the Pump Day on June 18.  Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the 2009 National Dump the Pump Day offers commuters an alternative to driving, by encouraging them to ride public transportation for the day, saving money, protecting the environment, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and improving our quality of life.

“With the economic downturn affecting everyone, now is the time to save money and ride public transportation,” said Steve Schlickman, RTA Executive Director.  “The National Dump the Pump Day on June 18 is an opportunity for people across the country to ease the strain on their wallets and provide a more secure future for America.”

Individuals can save an average of more than $8,000 annually by taking public transportation instead of driving.  For every $1 invested in public transportation infrastructure, $6 is generated in economic returns to communities, according to APTA.

Public transportation saves 900,000 automobile fill-ups each day – 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline per year and switching to public transportation can reduce individual carbon emissions by 20 pounds per day or 4,800 pounds per year, according to APTA.

“Taking advantage of the transit benefit allowance may help riders stretch their transit dollars even further,” said T.J. Ross, Pace’s Executive Director. “We encourage our daily riders and new riders, to take advantage of this important transit benefit to keep more money in their pockets.”