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Great infographic on benefits of public transportation

Kaid Benfield

Posted July 17, 2012

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  benefits of public transportation (courtesy of Credit Donkey)

This would make a great poster.  Last week the Sustainable Cities Collective (recommended) posted a terrific, poster-sized graphic highlighting the benefits of public transportation to individuals and to society.  The very well-made display was created, somewhat improbably, by Boris at Credit Donkey, a website whose primary function seems to be to explicate the world of credit cards to consumers.  The graphic is based on research by Kelly Teh.

The link between an environmental cause and a site primarily devoted to credit cards is, I suppose, household expenses.  Taking transit saves household expenses.  We should enlarge and frame this, and put it on one of the incredibly blank walls (that's another story) in our offices here at NRDC:

  benefits of public transportation (courtesy of Credit Donkey)

Teh's article on Credit Donkey explains her reasoning:

"As I was riding the DC Metro a couple of weeks ago, I was reminded of the metro tickets I keep as mementos of places I’ve traveled: San Francisco’s BART, Atlanta’s MARTA, and New York City’s subway system. That got me thinking about stories of families who’ve saved a bundle by becoming one-car (or no-car) households . . .

"According to RITA Bureau of Transportation’s statistics on average fuel efficiency and distance traveled to work (10 miles each way), the average daily work commute costs about $2.25 each way in a car compared to $1.02 for the average public transit fare—nearly half price.

"The cost savings alone could justify using public transit, not to mention the health benefits. APTA claims public transportation offers cleaner air with 95% less carbon monoxide and nearly 50% less carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide per passenger mile than a private vehicle does."

There's much more, but it's all in the graphic.  Enjoy.  Props to Kelly and Boris for doing it.

Related posts:

Move your cursor over the images for credit information.

Kaid Benfield writes about community, development, and the environment on Switchboard and in other national media.  For more posts, see his blog's home page.  Please also visit NRDC’s Sustainable Communities Video Channels.

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Dotty KurtzJul 17 2012 12:00 PM

I don't drive, but even if I did, I would not live in any area that doesn't have public transportation!

Charles SiegelJul 18 2012 12:13 PM

I think the infographic should have included the percent of passenger miles traveled by transit, rather than vehicle miles traveled.

3.4% of VMT makes transit sound like an insignificant part of the US transportation system.

The percent of passenger miles traveled would obviously be much higher, and that figure would represent the actual importance of transit in Americans' lives.

JeffJul 19 2012 02:29 PM

This is a great graphic. But I wish they'd use the term "transit" instead of "public transportation." We seem to dislike anything, in this country, with the name "public."

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