WASHINGTON, D.C. ― Gasoline prices are on the rise, which sets the stage for more people to participate June 21 in this year’s annual Dump the Pump Day.
Public transportation agencies nationwide will be encouraging commuters in their community to try public transit to avoid high gas prices.
The average annual savings is $10,160 for a person who switches his or her daily commute from driving to taking public transportation, according to the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) June Transit Savings Report. This is the highest transit savings recorded this year. Individuals who ride public transportation instead of driving can save, on average, more than $847 per month.
These savings are based on the cost of commuting by public transportation compared to the cost of owning and driving a vehicle. Driving costs include the June 6, 2018, national average gas price ($2.94 per gallon, as reported by AAA) and the national unreserved monthly parking rate.
APTA releases this monthly Transit Savings Report to examine how an individual in a two-person household can save money by taking public transportation and living with one fewer car.
The national average for a monthly unreserved parking space in a downtown business district is $166.26, according to the latest report of the Colliers International Parking Rate Study. Over the course of a year, parking costs for a vehicle can amount to an average of $1,995.
The top 20 cities with the highest public transit ridership are ranked in order of their transit savings based on the purchase of a monthly public transit pass.
The savings also factor in local gas prices for June 6, 2018 and the local monthly unreserved parking rate.
City Monthly Annual
1. New York $1,247 $14,969
2. San Francisco $1,128 $13,531
3. Boston $1,093 $13,116
4. Philadelphia $1,015 $12,184
5. Seattle $1,011 $12,135
6. Chicago $1,006 $12,078
7. Honolulu $981 $11,773
8. Los Angeles $969 $11,627
9. San Diego $922 $11,066
10. Portland $907 $10,886
11. Minneapolis $886 $10,631
12. Denver $871 $10,451
13. Baltimore $869 $10,430
14. Washington, DC $848 $10,178
15. Pittsburgh $838 $10,053
16. Cleveland $823 $9,873
17. Miami $799 $9,591
18. Atlanta $799 $9,583
19. Las Vegas $796 $9,551
20. Dallas $792 $9,503
*Based on gasoline prices as reported by AAA on 6/6/18
APTA calculates the average cost of taking public transit by determining the cost of the average monthly transit pass of local public transit agencies across the country. This information is based on the annual APTA fare collection survey and is weighted based on ridership (unlinked passenger trips). The assumption is that a person making a switch to public transportation would likely purchase an unlimited pass on the local public transit agency, typically available monthly.
APTA then compares the average monthly transit fare to the average cost of driving. The cost of driving is calculated using the 2017 AAA average cost of driving formula. That formula is based on variable and fixed costs. The variable costs include the cost of gas, maintenance and tires. The fixed costs include insurance, license registration, depreciation and finance charges. The comparison also uses the average mileage of a mid-size auto at 23.1 miles per gallon and the price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline as recorded by AAA on June 6, 2018 at $2.94 per gallon. The analysis also assumes that a person will drive an average of 15,000 miles per year. The savings assumes that a person in a two-person household lives with one fewer car.
In determining the cost of parking, APTA uses the data from the most recent Colliers International Parking Rate Study for monthly unreserved parking rates for the United States.