Plump up your wallet on Dump the Pump Day

June 17, 2009

By Contributor

NEW — 5 p.m. June 17, 2009

Concerned about saving money and cutting down on expenses? As local gas prices again begin to creep up to $3 a gallon, one of the easiest ways to keep more money in your wallet is to park your car at home and hop on public transportation.

The region’s transportation agencies are urging residents to ride a bus, train, boat, bike, take a walk or share the ride tomorrow, the fourth annual National Dump the Pump Day.

Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association, the 2009 National Dump the Pump Day encourages people to ride public transportation to save money, protect the environment, reduce dependence on foreign oil and improve our quality of life. The association’s monthly Transit Savings Report consistently ranks the Seattle metropolitan area as one of the top 10 regions for potential transit savings.

Various agencies in Washington are joining agencies across the country to ask those who’ve never tried public transportation to get on board with saving and take a new ride. Regular transit users are encouraged to make it a “zero drive” day, and only use transit.

“Puget Sound residents have so many great alternatives to driving — buses, streetcars, vanpools, trains, the iconic ferries, and in less than a month, we’ll be adding 16 miles of light rail to that long list,” Sound Transit CEO Joni Earl said.

The agencies in the Puget Sound region share a common goal of offering safe, reliable and low-cost transportation choices. Yet, each offers a unique array services that interconnect with other agencies to create a very useable transportation network for the region.

Some are hosting special activities for Dump the Pump Day, and others are featuring regular services that can help you save money every day.

King County Metro Transit

Dump the Pump Day also coincides with the start of summer, and King County Metro Transit wants people who are “staycationing” close to home this year to see how much farther their vacation/holiday dollars stretch when they travel by bus.

In addition to bus routes serving big-city attractions in Seattle, Metro also has regular service to parks, beaches, malls, movie theaters, ballparks and hiking trails. There are discounted fares for children and families to help make summertime fun more affordable.

Sound Transit

Sound Transit offers commuters throughout the region several ways to dump the pump to save money and help the environment. Sound Transit operates regional express bus service, Sounder commuter rail service, light rail in Tacoma, and on July 18, Central Link light rail line will launch service between downtown Seattle and Tukwila.

Washington State Ferries

The Washington State Ferries provides a web of transportation resources to connect commuters with many different transportation services. Both bike riders and people who walk on the ferry enjoy much cheaper fares than those who drive their cars aboard the boat.

In the Puget Sound region, eight public transportation agencies carry more than 500,000 passengers every weekday and serve a population of more than 3.8 million people in the five-county area.

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