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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

General Facts About Public Transportation

What is public transportation?

Public Transportation includes all multiple-occupancy vehicle services designed to transport customers on local and regional routes. These services are: private and public buses; rail; Amtrak; intercity bus, and taxi services operated under contract to a public transportation agency; any vanpool service operated by or under such contract; and other transportation services for senior citizens and persons with disabilities.

Who uses public transportation?

In 2012, Americans took 10.5 billion trips on public transportation, the 2nd highest annual ridership number since 1957.   35 million times each weekday, people board public transportation.  From 1995 through 2012, public transportation ridership increased by 34%—a growth rate higher than the 17% increase in U.S. population and higher than the 22% growth in the use of the nation’s highways over the same period. (Source:  American Public Transportation Association (APTA)) 

How much energy does public transit save?

Americans living in areas served by public transportation save 865 million hours in travel time and 450 million gallons of fuel annually in congestion reduction alone.  Without public transportation, congestion costs would have been an additional $21 billion.

Communities that invest in public transit reduce the nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually: equivalent to New York City; Washington, DC; Atlanta; Denver; and Los Angeles combined stopped using electricity.  A single commuter switching his or her commute to public transportation can reduce a household’s carbon emissions by 10%, or up to 30% if he or she eliminates a second car. When compared to other household actions that limit CO2, taking public transportation can be 10 times greater in reducing this harmful greenhouse gas. (Source:  APTA)