The RTA hosted a rally today for the 2012 National Dump the Pump Day at the James R. Thompson Center. The rally acknowledged the day as one to use public transit instead of driving as well as car sharing and biking. Metra and Pace along with the Active Transportation Alliance and I-GO participated as partners.

The RTA joined more than 162 transit systems across the country for the Dump the Pump campaign that is sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

“When a rider takes public transportation and leaves their car at home, they are contributing to the reduction of pollutants in the air, reducing highway congestion, saving money and showing their commitment to the sustainability of our environment,” said Joe Costello, RTA Executive Director.

The rally included members of the transit community engaging the public about how public transportation can save money and the environment. Attendees were urged to contact their Congressmen to express support for stable and long-term funding. Special guest Cliff Gober performed his song entitled “Can’t Afford the Gas” to conclude the event, a sentiment drivers know about all too well with gas prices that remain high.

Additionally, rally participants registered to win exciting prizes during the rally including an Amazon Kindle, iPod Shuffle and a transportation package that includes free transit. Dump the Pump participants can still sign-up until June 30 win these prizes at www. RTAchicago.com or by visiting Facebook.com/FriendsofTransit.

The regional transit system makes a significant impact on the region’s environment by saving approximately 150 million gallons of gas annually. And as saving money continues to be on everyone’s mind in this economic climate, the Dump the Pump campaign is another means to encourage travelers to see the value in public transportation.

Additional supporters of the Dump the Pump campaign included the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), Metropolis Strategies, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Farr Associates and Metropolitan Planning Council.

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With three transit systems and more than two million riders a day, there is always something interesting going on at the RTA. Get the latest scoop on everything all in one place. For all media inquiries, please contact Susan Massel, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, at 312-913-3256 or at communications@rtachicago.org.