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Do You Use Transit? Report Finds It Saves 16 Million Hours of Traffic Delay

A newly released study shows the Seattle-Tacoma region's use of public transportation saved $367 million in fuel and other costs in 2011.

Seattle-Tacoma may have some of the nation's worst traffic, but the new Urban Mobility Report released last week by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute also shows our region enjoys some of the greatest benefits from use of public transportation.

Do you use public transportation? If not, what would prompt you to give it a try? Tell us in the comments section.

According to the study, Seattle-Tacoma residents saved 16 million hours of traffic congestion and $367 million in fuel and other costs by opting to take transit in 2011. Both figures are up slightly from 2010.

Those findings put Seattle-Tacoma in eighth place in the study's ranking of public transportation savings. Topping the list was New York City, followed by Chicago and Boston.

Many transit organizations around Puget Sound—including King County Metro—have recently struggled to maintain funding for all their existing routes. More than a dozen Metro bus routes were eliminated in September.

Last month, Metro also announced it plans to reduce service along the I-90 corridor in an effort to improve speed and mitigate overcrowding on its existing routes.

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the industry's largest lobbying group, touted the report's findings and called for federal officials to help local organizations meet transit needs.

“This report serves as further evidence that Congress needs to find the funding mechanism to support a long-term surface transportation bill that will increase public transportation service and ensure that our infrastructure needs are met,” APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy said in a news release. “As this report points out, traffic congestion will continue to increase.  We need more public transportation, not less.” 

Jerry Gropp Architect AIA February 12, 2013 at 03:36 AM
. We use it all the time. 550 from Mercer Island to Pacific Place takes just 15 minutes- with no downtown parking bother and/or expense. JG-
Dallas February 12, 2013 at 06:09 AM
I agree with Jerry. Going into Seattle from the Eastside, I almost always take the bus. The ride is a pleasure compared with the stress of dealing with the traffic, less expense, no hassle finding parking, and it's often faster--for some locations, I'm practically dropped off at the front door. The ORCA card makes it simple and easy. We need MORE public transit!
jdrabe February 12, 2013 at 02:57 PM
they should re-name it seattle transit, works ok going x to seattle but not x to y
HOB February 12, 2013 at 04:10 PM
The buses from the Eastside into Seattle are indeed far better than driving. Unfortunately, Sound Transit does NOT see it that way. They refuse to expand their already totally full Park and Ride lots. No sense even trying the bus anymore since there are no parking spaces.
rentonben February 13, 2013 at 03:43 AM
Agreed! Metro and Sound Transit are run to primarily benefit Seattle - most routes are Seattle oriented, and even for a while, transport within the downtown Seattle was free. Given how all taxpayers are subsidizing each rider to use the system, we should ensure that the benefits are shared within the region and not just concentrate on one city.
dexterjibs February 13, 2013 at 04:59 AM
Mass transit is for users of other people's money. Billions of dollars used to run light rail and metro busses and these billions come from people that drive their cars and pay gas and license tab fees. I will never use mass transit cuz i am not a socialistic cattle. If people that use mass transit love it so much, they should have no problem paying full cost for it and leave me and my family alone.
Dick Lipschitz February 13, 2013 at 06:13 AM
Dexter, if that is your real name, why do you hate so much? You really need to be put in your place with your large carbon footprint. Just because you make enough money to pay for your carbon footprint doesn't mean you are right to create this footprint because it effects everyone around you. Someday you and your ilk will be wiped out by the ideals of Obama.
Local Guy February 13, 2013 at 09:35 PM
Reporting of this nature is worthless as it does not put forth true cost. Kinda like a gambler bragging about money won while ignoring true net loss...
Jerry Gropp Architect AIA February 13, 2013 at 10:56 PM
jdrabe- Suggest you use Metro's "Trip Planner". Works just great. Jerry http://tripplanner.kingcounty.gov/cgi-bin/itin.pl

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