Thursday April 25, 2019
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has designated today, April 25, 2019 as National Get on Board Day throughout the country calling for a unified voice highlighting the many benefits public transportation provides to communities.
"Over the last ten years, by opting not to drive, Metro riders have helped reduce nitrogen oxide emissions in our local environment by 82 percent. When you use Metro, you help the planet. Get on Board Day is a great opportunity to celebrate the Planet-Savers in our community who take public transportation every day,” said L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair Sheila Kuehl.
Every segment of American society, from individuals and families, to communities, and businesses, all benefit from public transportation. The environment benefits too; communities that invest in public transportation reduce the nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually.
“Today, we ask the public to join us by riding and supporting public transportation and continue to advocate for more federal, state and local funding needed to grow our system, relieve congestion and provide a better quality of life for generations to come,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington.
Washington noted that Metro supports federal legislation that embraces the agency’s Rebuilding America Initiative that calls for increasing the length of future surface transportation authorization bill, increasing the federal gas tax to provide solvency with the Federal Highway Trust Funds, authorizing America Fast Forward Transportation Bonds, expanding and reforming the Projects of National and Regional Significance Program and enhancing federal support for workforce development programs.
With Congress looking to move an infrastructure bill forward this spring, APTA recently released new research identifying at least $232 billion in critical public transportation investments in need of additional funding. Their research shows that this amount spent over the next 10 years would stimulate a 4-to-1 return of $928 billion in economic activity over the next 20 years.
The benefits of providing funding for public transportation are plentiful. As an example, every $1 invested in public transportation generates $4 in economic returns, and every $1 billion invested supports and creates more than 50,000 jobs.
Traveling by public transportation is 10 times safer per mile than traveling by automobile and a person can reduce his or her chance of being in an accident by more than 90 percent simply by taking public transit as opposed to commuting by car.
In addition, the average household spends 16 cents of every dollar on transportation, and 93 percent of this goes to buying, maintaining, and operating vehicles, the largest expenditure after housing. A typical American household can save nearly $10,000 every year by taking public transportation and living with one less car. The overall effect of using public transportation saves the United States 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually.
“People who use our systems don’t see a distinction between a train, a subway or a bus. They just want to be able to get where they want to go,” said Art Ida, the Culver City Transportation Department Director and Chair of LACMOA (Los Angeles County Municipal Operators Association). “Mass transit plays a key role in addressing the issues of congestion, mobility and global warming. In partnership with the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), our regional transit partners are taking part in the inaugural national Get on Board campaign to encourage support of public transportation and bring awareness to its economic and environmental benefits among customers and potential customers.”
With the future of America’s public transportation and road network in need of continued funding, Metro and L.A. County municipal transportation operators joined community stakeholders and elected officials for the National Get on Board Day, along with more than 300 other participating organizations in communities across the country, to urge public support for public transportation and to advocate for more federal, state and local funding to improve service in their communities.
The municipal operators participating at today’s event include Culver City Municipal Bus Lines, Foothill Transit, Montebello Bus Lines, G-Trans, Commerce Municipal Bus Lines, Long Beach Transit, Norwalk Transit, Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus, Torrance Transit, Antelope Valley Transit Authority, Arcadia Transit, Beach Cities Transit, Claremont Dial-A-Ride, La Mirada Transit, Santa Clarita Transit, Metrolink, Access Services and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT).
Throughout the day, Metro staff will visit key transportation hubs including Union Station, North Hollywood Red/Orange Line Station, Harbor Gateway Transit Center, Santa Monica Expo Line Station and the El Monte Bus Station passing out free “Get on Board” TAP cards and lapel pins to riders encouraging their continued support of public transit.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is unique among the nation’s transportation agencies. Created in 1993, Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that transports about 1.3 million passengers daily on a fleet of 2,200 clean air buses and six rail lines. The agency also oversees bus, rail, highway and other mobility-related building projects and leads transportation planning and programming for Los Angeles County.
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