Public transportation is a topic that locally has had its share of controversy. But few can argue that access to these kinds of services in some form offers many benefits to the community.
According to the American Public Transportation Association, Americans living in areas served by public transportation save 865 million hours in travel time and 450 million gallons of fuel annually in congestion reduction. Without public transportation, the organization contends, congestion costs would have been an additional $21 billion.
A vibrant public transit system also has economic benefits. According to the APRA, every $1 invested in public transportation generates approximately $4 in economic returns, every $10 million in capital investment in public transportation yields $30 million in increased business sales, and home values performed 42 percent better on average if they were located near public transportation with high-frequency service.
The Camas and Washougal areas are served by public transit in the form of C-Tran bus lines. As the communities grow, and more people from all walks of life and economic circumstances locate to the area, local roads will be pushed to their limits. Easy access to mass transit in all areas of both cities will become even more important in the coming decades.
In an effort to promote the economic and community value of public transit, C-TRAN is inviting Clark County travelers to “dump the pump” and take public transportation Thursday, as part of national Dump the Pump Day. To encourage people to ride locally, C-Tran will provide free service across its entire system for that day.
The fare-free day will apply to all C-Tran routes and services, including local, limited and express routes, C-Van and the Connector. Dump the Pump Day, now in its 11th year nationally, encourages people to ride public transportation to save money. Choosing transit over a daily commute by car can save a person more than $9,000 per year, according to the APTA.
It’s an opportunity for those who aren’t seasoned public transit users to see what it’s all about, and do something good for the local roads, the environment, and their wallets.