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The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis June 28, 2013
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Across the U.S., Agencies Work to ‘Dump the Pump’

More than 100 U.S. public transportation systems and businesses participated in the 8th National Dump the Pump Day, sponsored by APTA in partnership with the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council. This national public awareness day encourages people to save money by parking their cars and using public transportation instead.

Here are a few examples of public transit agencies sharing the message of how their customers can help their communities, their pocketbooks, and the earth by stepping out of their cars.

Public transportation agencies in Chicago, including the Regional Transportation Authority, Chicago Transit Authority, Metra commuter rail, and Pace Suburban Bus, celebrated National Dump the Pump Day with an event featuring a local radio personality and raffle giveaways.

In Yuma, AZ, the Yuma County Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority provided free rides on all its routes on Dump the Pump Day. The agency recently restructured its service, which covers the cities of Yuma, San Luis, Somerton, Foothills, Wellton, Cocopah, Fort Yuma, Winterhaven, El Centro, and Gadsden.

Public transportation agencies serving the Puget Sound region partnered on Dump the Pump Day to host a lunchtime information fair at Seattle’s Westlake Park. Participating organizations were Sound Transit, King County Metro Transit, Community Transit, Pierce Transit, Kitsap Transit, Intercity Transit, Washington State Ferries, Commute Seattle, and the city of Seattle. Guests at the event met with personal trip planners and purchased or reloaded ORCA regional farecards at a new mobile customer service terminal. Sound Transit, in partnership with the non-profit Undriving™ organization, invited participants to get personalized, unofficial ID-size “Undriver License” cards listing their favorite alternative ways to travel.

Intercity Transit in Olympia, WA, also is holding three “Drive Less! Save Cash” information fairs this summer as part of its ongoing Dump the Pump efforts. These community events feature music, food vendors, and customized trip planners to help commuters plan their trips by bus, vanpool, carpool, bicycle, or on foot.

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority, Tampa, FL, joined the Florida Public Transportation Association, Florida DOT, and other agencies to promote Dump the Pump Day for older Americans at the Town ’N Country Senior Center in Tampa. Florida’s Safe Mobility for Life Coalition has identified Hillsborough County as one of the Top 10 Priority Counties in the state based on five-year average crash frequencies for aging road users age 65 and older. Participants at the senior center event learned about available public transit services and then walked to the closest bus stop to ride the HART system to a local destination.

In St. Louis, Metro employee ambassadors greeted travelers at several of the system’s public transit hubs during the morning commute on Dump the Pump Day, thanking them and handing out Dump the Pump bookmarks. That afternoon, a local radio personality rode MetroLink light rail, giving away prizes donated by Citizens for Modern Transit.

Public transit agencies in South Florida—Palm Tran, Broward County Transit, Miami-Dade Transit, South Florida Regional Transportation Authority/Tri-Rail, South Florida Commuter Services, and Florida DOT—invited their riders to take a pledge to use public transportation on Dump the Pump Day. Individuals who registered at a website were eligible to win a free monthly pass on their local service.

The Orange County Transportation Authority, Orange, CA, devoted an entire week to Dump the Pump activities. Riders who pledged to use public transportation instead of driving solo could receive a one-day OCTA pass or Metrolink commuter rail trip ticket. OCTA also held a photo contest linked to its website; the photo entry with the most votes will win a prize for the photographer and will be featured by OCTA.

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) invited teams of four to eight people to compete in its first-ever “Dump the Pump Dash” Scavenger Hunt. Competitors used MARTA to travel from one site to the next, deciphering riddles, locating places, finding items, and taking photos.

The Riverside Transit Agency (RTA), Riverside, CA, distributed free one-day passes at locations throughout its service area in advance of Dump the Pump Day. On June 20, the officially designated Dump the Pump Day, RTA rewarded some of its riders with seven-day passes and Starbucks gift cards.


Oxy Gene, the clean air superhero mascot of Community Transit in Snohomish County, WA, spread the word about Dump the Pump Day, June 20, during a regional event at Seattle's Westlake Park.


The Central Ohio Transit Authority in Columbus invited visitors to tie-dye T-shirts while learning about the importance of public transportation during its lunchtime “Dump the Pump” event in the downtown Arena District. The agency partnered with a radio station and numerous local advocacy and transportation organizations in the event.


Officials of SunLine Transit Agency, Thousand Palms, CA, observed Dump the Pump Day with the symbolic disposal of a gas pump handle in a trash bin. From left are SunLine Board Chairman Robert Spiegel, Special Projects Coordinator Tommy Edwards, Director of Operations Polo del Toro, and board member Eduardo Garcia.



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