Talk to anyone who owns a car and he or she probably has a love/hate relationship with their vehicle. Sure, there’s nothing like the quiet solitude of a drive home from work when the sunset is perfect, but other times driving can be a hassle, time consuming, and always a sense of danger lurking in your rearview mirror. While taking the city bus or commuter train may not be part of your daily routine, there are numerous reasons to consider incorporating public transportation into your family’s schedule at least a few times a week:
Reduce the Risk of Accidents
It’s rare that we hear about an accident involving a commuter train, a city bus, or other forms of mass transit. Cars, on the other hand, can be death traps and thousands of accidents, from fender benders to fatalities, occur each day. According to the car insurance industry, if you are an average driver, you will file an accident claim about every 18 years which means you can have numerous accidents throughout your lifetime. Even if you are a law abiding motorist, there are many fellow motorists around you, who are not. From distracted driving and aggressive driving to alcohol use, driver errors are a contributing factor in a majority of roadway accidents.
Although mass transit drivers and operators are prone to making mistakes and irresponsible moves like everyone else, they are held to a higher standard and their jobs are on the line if they make poor choices, therefore, it’s safe to say that they are probably safer drivers.
Less Time in Traffic
How many times have you been stuck in morning gridlock and thought, “There’s more to life than this”? In the moments that you’re idling in traffic you could be enjoying a cup of coffee, spending time with your kids, or even doing household chores. Even if your kids are passengers, it’s hard to have valuable time with them because your focus needs to be on the road rather than on them. Another stressor for many commuters is hazardous road conditions due to the weather. Whether it’s raining or snowing, the traffic can move even slower.
If you take advantage of mass transit, you can sit back and enjoy the ride (and enjoy that cup of coffee), get caught up on emails, some sleep, and have an engaging and uninterrupted conversation with your kids, without worrying about roadway distractions. If that’s not incentive enough, think about this, a recent roadway study reports that commuters spend about 42 hours a year in traffic.
Less Money, Less Gas, Less Carbon Footprint
Even with gas prices becoming more affordable, most of your paycheck can get sucked into your gas tank if you spend a lot of your time commuting to and from work. According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), public transportation saves about 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually and if a two-car household were to downsize to one care and utilize transportation, over $10,000 a year can be saved. Not only is public transportation gentler on your wallet, but it’s better for the environment, too.
APTA reports that public transportation in the U.S. reduces the nation’s carbon emissions by 37 metric tons each year. How much is that? It’s the equivalent to if Washington, DC, New York City, Atlanta, Denver, and Los Angeles, combined, stopped using electricity. Additionally, a single commuter can reduce his or her household’s carbon emissions by 10% if he or she utilizes public transit.