BALTIMORE — Marylanders who regularly commute using mass transit may see some new faces in the coming days as the state tries to encourage more residents and commuters to utilize public transportation during “Take Transit Week.”
The campaign, running from Monday, April 22 to Friday, April 26, is part of the larger American Public Transportation Association’s “Get on Board for Public Transit,” initiative, the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Maryland Transit Administration said in a statement.
Riders are encouraged to utilize CharmCards or the new CharmPass smartphone app, which allows riders to purchase individual tickets online, showing the phone to drivers to validate your purchase. The online passes provide free transfer among bus lines or across transit platforms, like going from the bus to the light rail or the subway, or vice versa. Details on the CharmPass can be found online.
“Our goal with ‘Take Transit Week’ is to point out the many reasons why riding public transportation regularly just makes sense,” said MDOT MTA Administrator Kevin Quinn. “Not only does taking transit save money, but with CharmPass mobile ticketing and our Transit app, MDOT MTA is making transit more convenient and dependable than ever to riders.”
Using public transportation saves riders money, according to a study touted by APTA. The average household that utilizes one fewer car and takes public transit instead can save about $10,160 per year on average. The study said every 16 cents spent by a public transit rider equates to 93 cents going towards the purchasing, maintaining and operating of a car.
Every $1 spent on public transportation reaps $4 of economic return, according to APTA. A similar correlation is found with government investment, as every $10 million in capital investment in transit programs returns $30 million in business sales for an area. Homes near high-frequency transit lines see their values appreciate 42% better than other areas.
Utilizing mass transit also carries environmental and safety benefits. Riding public transit is 10 times safer per mile than traveling by car, APTA said. Mass transit also saves 4.2 billion gallons of gas annually.
“Public transportation provides personal mobility and freedom for people from all walks of life,” the release said.