“Driving” as we know it, at one time, did not even exist. Then things changed, dramatically. Driving has for a long time been a part of mainstream American culture and society. The practice has become widespread, so much so, in fact, that per-citizen driving totaled approximately 9,487 miles in 2014 on average and, all together last year, we added more than 3.016 trillion miles to our autos’ odometers.
The upside to just this very thing is that vehicles’ fuel-economy ratings have actually improved some. It is now close to 25 miles per gallon on average. This being the case means that the average car is consuming roughly 380 gallons of gasoline and diesel yearly.
But, just as there is an upside there is also a drawback. For each gallon of gasoline burned, approximately 20 pounds of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. And, this is for carbon dioxide only and does not take into consideration the damage to the air caused by benzene, carbon monoxide, fine and ultra-fine particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, sulfur oxide, volatile organic compound and other pollutant releases that internal-combustion engines are known to emit.
So, why not give it and your vehicle a rest at least for a day and use public transit instead? Exactly the intent behind the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) “National Dump the Pump Day” which this year is on Jun. 18th.
“In communities of all sizes across the nation, people will be dumping the pump on June 18, said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy,” reported the APTA in the “10th Annual National Dump the Pump Day Is Tomorrow! – Dump the Pump. Ride Public Transit.” press release. “‘This year, 176 public transit systems are promoting National Dump the Pump Day in a variety ways to thank current riders and welcome new riders.’
“APTA first started National Dump the Pump Day in June 2006 when gas prices had reached $3 per gallon and the public demand for public transportation was growing in response to high gas prices. According to the June 10 2015 Transit Savings Report, on the average, an individual in a two-person household can save $9,530 a year when he or she downsizes by one car and takes public transit instead. ”
At any rate, as a result of this one day, by taking part, this could even help members of the transiting public find a working formula whereby money can be saved, air can be spared and everyday mobility needs can be satisfactorily met.
“Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), this national public awareness day encourages people to change their travel behavior and switch from driving a car to riding a bus or train. Not only does riding public transportation help an individual save money, but it helps grow a community, and improves the environment,” the APTA added.