November 23, 2009
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Winning ‘Dump the Pump’ Videos Depict Relationships Between Passengers and Public Transit
What do a jilted gas pump, an upbeat musical portraying the joys of avoiding traffic, and an inspiring call to action to save the planet have in common? They took the top three awards in APTA’s recent “Dump the Pump” contest for online videos generated by public transportation riders.
Participants were asked to create videos that demonstrated why they were “dumping the pump” in favor of using public transportation.
The first-place video, “Romance,” created by Bob Richardson of Portland, OR, depicts a woman sitting at a café table for two, ostensibly saying goodbye to her significant other. “I know this is painful for you, but going on like this isn’t healthy for me. And really, if you think about it, I was just using you,” says the woman—then the camera pulls back to reveal that her lunch partner is actually a gas pump. Richardson received a year of free public transportation and an Apple iPod Touch.
Judith Keenan of Berkeley, CA, won six months of free public transportation for her second-place video, which contrasts the points of view of a driver stuck with high gas prices and freeway traffic against a bicyclist connecting to Caltrain commuter rail and a Muni bus in San Francisco. The soundtrack shifts from talk radio in the car to the swing tune “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie” for the bicycle and public transit.
The third-place award, presented to Miles Clark of Atlanta, is three months of free public transportation. Clark’s video juxtaposes a single performer and transit-friendly slogans such as “You… me… everyone can help stop global warming” and “Don’t have a fuss—take the bus,” concluding with “Don’t be a chump. Dump the pump,” over the song “If My Heart Was a House” by Owl City.
The judges also selected two videos for special mention. The first shows a man breaking up with his car: “I’m just not getting what I need out of this. I mean, you’re getting me where I need to go, but at what cost? You said you’d clean up your act, but you’re still a slob. Your—well, your carbon dioxide emissions per passenger mile, they’re embarrassing me,” he says. The second is a computer-generated scene of urban gridlock and serene passengers on board a bus flying above traffic.
All winning videos and special mention entries can be viewed here.