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Top Ten Benefits of Mass Transit

April 22, 2014

RTA, CTA, Metra and Pace Remind Chicagoland of Benefits of Robust Regional Transit System

The region’s transit system—CTA, Metra, Pace and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA)—are celebrating Earth Day 2014 on Tuesday, April 22, by reminding everyone of the many benefits of using our region’s mass transit system. Throughout the week of April 21, the transit agencies will share two transit benefits each day, rounding out the week with the Top Ten Benefits of Transit on Friday, April 25.

Top Ten Benefits of Mass Transit
  1. It’s good for the environment: Public transportation saves 37 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually—the equivalent to the emissions resulting from the electricity generated by serving 4.9 million households.
  2. It’s good for the environment: Public transportation use in the United States saves 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually.
  3. It’s good for the environment: Pace is working to be the first transit agency in the region to power its fleet with Compressed Natural Gas, or CNG, a clear, odorless, and non-corrosive natural gas. Natural gas is produced both worldwide and domestically at relatively low cost and is cleaner burning than gasoline or diesel fuel. Natural gas vehicles show an average reduction in ozone-forming emissions of 80 percent compared to gasoline vehicles.
  4. It’s good for the environment: Households near public transit drive an average of 4,400 fewer miles than households with no access to public transit. This equates to an individual household reduction of 223 gallons per year.
  5. It’s good for the environment: Public transportation use saves the equivalent of 900,000 car fill ups every day.
  6. It’s good for the environment: For every passenger mile traveled, public transportation is twice as fuel-efficient as private automobiles, sport-utility vehicles, and light trucks.
  7. It’s good for you: Public Transportation reduces congestion- nearly nine working days (71 hours) are lost by each resident per year due to traffic congestion and delays.
  8. It’s good for you: Nationally, Individuals who ride public transportation instead of driving can save, on average, more than $848 this month and $10,174For those of us in the Chicago area, that translates into $1,015 a month and more than $12,100 dollars a year.
  9. It’s good for you: Individuals who use public transportation get over three times the amount of physical activity per day of those who don’t (approximately 19 minutes, rather than six minutes) by walking to stops and final destinations.
  10. It’s good for you: Taking public transit reduces stress and you can be productive (read, email,) or just relax!

The agencies are joining together to encourage riders who traditionally use the transit system to continue to do so this week and invite new riders to make this week the week they “get on board,” with the many environmental, economic and health benefits of using our world-class transit system.

The first Earth Day, celebrated nearly 45 years ago, on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed.

Please visit the agencies’ Facebook pages listed below to “like” the benefits.



Learn more about the transit’s system plan for improving sustainability by reading the Chicago Regional Green Transit Plan at

Learn more about Pace’s “Go Green With Pace” page by visiting

Learn more about CTA’s Going Green Site at

Press Information

Melissa Meyer

Communications Manager
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