SAN DIEGO–The fifth annual national Dump the Pump Day Thursday is offering people a chance to save money and reduce their consumption at a time when gas prices are rising, the economy is still shaky, and concerns over the environment are growing.
If cutting expenses, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign oil are not enough motivation for solo drivers to consider new alternatives, Dump the Pump Day here in San Diego County also comes with freebies and a chance to win some prizes.
“There are many ways to get around in this town,” SANDAG Executive Director Gary Gallegos said. “We’re hoping that people will take a moment and think about trying out something different for a day and seeing if it works – like taking transit, carpooling, vanpooling, walking, biking, or working from home.”
To promote this year’s event, the Metropolitan Transit System will hold a contest on the Web – people who pledge to Dump the Pump will get a chance to win one of five Compass Cards loaded with free passes for July. In addition, MTS staff at the Old Town Transit Center on June 17 will raffle off six $25 Best Buy gift cards and five Compass Cards with July passes.
“Leaving your car at home for just one day a week can make a significant contribution to the environment and reduce our dependence on oil,” said MTS Chief Executive Paul Jablonski. “Dump the Pump Day is an opportunity for people to discover the benefits and ease of riding public transportation. It is also a great way to save money.”
The North County Transit District will offer a limited number of free SPRINTER/BREEZE Day Passes to those who stop by the NCTD booth at the Carlsbad or Oceanside Farmer’s Markets and pledge to dump the pump.
“Using public transit and leaving the car at home is the quickest way to save money on transportation costs while helping the environment,” said NCTD Board Chairman Bob Campbell. “On June 17, take the pledge to ‘dump the pump’ and take a bus or train instead of your car.”
In addition, people who sign up for a commuter account at www.iCommuteSD.com during June will be entered into a drawing for a spa gift certificate worth $100 from eLiveLife.com. iCommute’s vanpool vendors (Enterprise & VPSI) also will cut $100 off the price of leasing a van for those who start a vanpool this month.
In urging drivers to support Dump the Pump Day at the national level, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has found that households with two workers and one car that use public transportation can save up to $9,000 every year, compared to a household with no access to public transportation. Consider these additional facts also identified by APTA:
- The average household spends 18 cents of every dollar on transportation, and 94 percent of that goes to buying, maintaining, and operating cars, the largest expenditure after housing.
- Public transportation’s overall effects save the United States 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually – more than three times the amount of gasoline imported from Kuwait.
- One person switching to public transit can reduce daily carbon emissions by 20 pounds, or more than 4,800 pounds in a year.
- Every dollar communities invest in public transportation generates approximately $4 in economic returns.
- Communities that invest in public transit reduce the nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually – equivalent to New York City, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Denver, and Los Angeles combined stopping using electricity.