Caltrain Encourages Drivers to 'Dump the Pump' Thursday

Those who normally drive are urged to take public transportation Thursday as part of the national Dump the Pump Day.

Caltrain is encouraging drivers to "dump the pump" on Thursday and take public transportation.

With gas more than $4 a gallon, and San Mateo County's roads and highways clogged daily, Caltrain and SamTrans officials are urging Peninsula residents to put down the gas pump and utilize public transit.

The San Mateo County Transit District, which operates SamTrans bus service and Caltrain commuter rail service, is joining with other public transportation systems across the country to participate in National Dump the Pump Day on Thursday, June 21. 

Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association, Dump the Pump Day is a day for people to ride public transportation instead of driving a car.

Started in June 2006 when gas prices were $3 per gallon, this national day emphasizes that public transportation is a great travel option that also helps people save money.

Caltrain riders already are demonstrating that there are alternatives to driving – weekday ridership is closing in on the historic high of 46,169 set in July 2008.

was 45,928, an increase of 5,172 or 12.7 percent higher than the previous year. 

People can calculate how much they can save on their individual commute by using the commute calculators posted on SamTrans and Caltrain websites.

The average commute for Caltrain riders is 46 miles round trip. The cost of driving, which is calculated using the cost of gas, the average vehicle miles per gallon and the cost of owning a vehicle, is $476 a month. The cost of a Caltrain Adult Monthly Pass is only $126, a monthly savings of $350.

SamTrans riders commute an average of 10 miles a day. The cost of driving would be $103.40.  When compared to the cost of a SamTrans Adult Monthly Pass, which is $64, taking transit results in a $39.40 savings. 

The Transit Savings Report, released monthly by APTA, calculates the average annual and monthly savings for public transit users.  The report examines how an individual in a two-person household can save money by taking public transportation and living with one less car.  According to the latest report, San Franciscans living in a two-person household can save an average of more than $12,980 annually by downsizing to one car. 

For help with trip planning on SamTrans or Caltrain, call 1-800-660-4287 or visit the websites at www.samtrans.com or www.caltrain.com.  

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