Thursday, October 21, 2010

Riding the train can save a bundle

Riding the train can save a bundle :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Transportation
October 18, 2010

If Metra passengers are driving each other crazy with their cell phones, at least everyone's saving gas. A report by Environment Illinois found that Chicago area commuters saved 34.8 million gallons of gasoline by riding Metra trains in 2008, the amount of fuel consumed by more than 61,000 cars per year. The report also found that Chicago area residents who use transit can save as much as $11,611 per year by avoiding the cost of vehicle ownership, parking and fuel.Environment Illinois encouraged U.S. and state legislatures to consider policies that advance public transit systems and increase the proportion of state and federal funding sent to Metra and other public transit systems.

While reading through the report, it states that transportation is two-thirds of all our oil consumption. By taking the Metra, 100 passengers can fit in one car compared to just one or two in an automobile reducing the amount of carbon emissions per person significantly. Also, the Electric District is a line of electric-run cars that further reduce oil consumption.

The metra helps create compact communities by offering stops in small communities that allow them a short trip to the city without an automobile. These communities have shops, parks, and other services all within walking distance. People here can enjoy residing in a small community while still being able to access the city.

When it comes to spending dollars, tickets for the metra are cheaper and less time consuming to purchase than driving to the city in traffic, finding a spot to park, and paying the enormous parking fees. The report states:
"Investing in transit creates jobs. In the year since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, investments in transit and rail have created more than twice as many jobs per federal dollar invested than comparable investments in new road projects. Investment in projects like Metra creates high quality, green jobs."

For further interest in transportation check out the Create Program! A partnership between U.S. DOT, the State of Illinois, City of Chicago, Metra, Amtrak, and the nation's freight railroads.

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