Savings Flourish Choosing Public Transit: September Savings Report

Month after month APTA reminds us that savings flourish when one chooses public transit for one’s commute. Yes, money for the nice new Mac, or the romantic trip you are longing for, or the new ecological washer and dryer. Shall I go on? The Flamenco or Tango dance classes you want to try out, the tools for your new home business, and so much more…. And you stay in shape, moving around much more each day.

The American Public Transportation Association reminds you that buses, trams, subways, and rail “get you where you want to be both physically and fiscally. When you choose to ride public transit you make a decision that saves you money, builds exercise time into your day and helps alleviate traffic headaches.”


Switching to a transit commute can save the average American $9,225, according APTA’s September Transit Savings Report. Those who ride public transportation and park or let go of that car will save, on average, more than $769 per month. Here are more details from APTA:

These savings are based on the cost of commuting by public transportation compared to the cost of owning and driving a vehicle which includes the September 23, 2015 average national gas price ($2.28 per gallon- reported by AAA), and the national unreserved monthly parking rate numbers.

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 less car.

The national average for a monthly unreserved parking space in a downtown business district is $166.26, according to the 2012 Colliers International Parking Rate Study, which is the most recent report available. 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 September 23, 2015 and the local monthly unreserved parking rate.*

1 City

New York





2 San Francisco $1,198 $14,370
3 Boston $1,165 $13,981
4 Chicago $1,089 $13,073
5 Philadelphia $1,085 $13,017
6 Seattle $1,081 $12,968
7 Los Angeles $1,048 $12,577
8 Honolulu $1,047 $12,560
9 San Diego $999 $11,983
10 Portland $973 $11,673
11 Minneapolis $966 $11,594
12 Denver $963 $11,550
13 Baltimore $943 $11,322
14 Washington, DC $930 $11,160
15 Pittsburgh $910  $10,919
16 Cleveland $904  $10,849
17 Las Vegas $893  $10,722
18 Miami $877  $10,528
19 Atlanta $873  $10,481
20 Dallas $860  $10,317

*Based on gasoline prices as reported by AAA on 9/23/15

To calculate your individual savings, with or without car ownership, go to​.

Public transit is something I wish I found more. I can’t wait till I can simply take the train to Miami, all the way. It is a bit of time till I will be able to, unfortunately. However, I am not the only one dreaming in this way. In fact, Americans want more public transit options, not more highways.

It’s also nice to remember that mass transit is safer than other travel options. It is notably safer than travel in automobiles. Many people do not realize this, however. In part, this is due to media exaggerations of public transit risks.

If you ride the bus, you are about 60 times safer than in an automobile in the US, according to analyst Todd Litman’s findings published recently in the Journal of Public Transportation. If you travel via commuter or intercity rail, you are about 20 times safer than in an automobile. And if you hop on the metro or light rail, you are about 30 times safer.

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Image via Flickr CC

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