What does Earth Day mean to you? For many, it's a time to take pause and be thankful for the planet and all that Mother Nature has bestowed upon on us, especially in Michigan and the City of Detroit. We have fabulous rivers and streams, beautiful parks and we are just a short trip to the Great Lakes. One of the greatest ways to honor Earth Day is to ride public transportation.
According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), using public transit has a significant impact on our carbon footprint. Commuting by bus, train or rail reduces emissions by 20 lbs per day or 4,800 lbs per year. That is more than if you purchased a new refrigerator, switched over to flourescent light bulbs and completely weatherized your home, combined.
How Public Public Transportation Reduces Greenhouse Gases and Conserves Energy
- The “leverage effect” of public transportation reduces the nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually – equivalent to the electricity used by 4.9 million households.
- To achieve similar reduction in carbon emissions, every household in New York City, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Denver and Los Angeles combined would have to completely stop using electricity.
- People living within one-quarter mile of rail or one-tenth mile from a bus stop drive approximately 4,400 fewer miles annually compared to persons in similar households with no access to public transit. This equates to an individual household reduction of 223 gallons of gasoline a year.
Public Transportation Reduces Gasoline Consumption:
- The “leverage effect” of public transportation, supporting transportation efficient land use patterns, saves 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline – more than three times the amount of gasoline refined from the oil we import from Kuwait.
- Public transportation use saves the equivalent of 900,000 automobile fill-ups every day.
- The typical public transit rider consumes on average one half of the oil consumed by an automobile rider.
So why not park your car and pay tribute to the planet? It's so easy to do and just one more way to heal our great city.