New APTA Report Says Public Transit Users Can Save $13,000 Annually

The American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) most recent Transit Savings report shows that individuals who ride on public transportation instead of driving can save more than $13,000 a year, or $1,100 a month, because of significant increases in auto costs and gasoline prices.

According to APTA’s Fare Database, monthly public transit fare prices have not increased since 2020 while prices for new and used cars have increased significantly since the pandemic, and financing costs have increased dramatically due to interest rate hikes. Gasoline prices have also spiked due to constricted supply and added demand.

APTA and public transportation agencies nationwide are encouraging individuals to try public transit to avoid some of these higher costs while conserving energy and reducing carbon emissions. By eliminating one car and taking public transportation instead of driving, a savings of 30 percent in carbon dioxide emissions can be realized.

“As the rising cost of living continues to impact U.S. households, public transportation offers an economical and climate-friendly alternative to reduce daily expenses,” APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas said. “By choosing to ride public transit, individuals can significantly cut down on their monthly transportation expenses. Whether it’s commuting to work, running errands, or keeping appointments, public transit is a practical and budget-friendly choice.”

Since 2019, the average transaction price of purchasing a new car has risen by more than $11,000, an increase of more than 30 percent. For used cars, the average price has risen over $8,000, or 40 percent.

Gasoline prices are also having an impact. In 2023, gas prices have risen 25 percent to $4 per gallon, as of Sept. 18, 2023.

These savings calculations are predicated upon a comprehensive analysis comparing the costs associated with commuting via public transportation versus the expenses linked to vehicle ownership, vehicle operation, and parking costs. Factors considered include the national and state average gasoline price per gallon as reported by AAA.

Potential Savings From Using Public Transit — Top 20 Cities By Ridership

City Monthly Savings Annual


San Francisco $1,403 $16,837
New York $1,377 $16,527
Boston $1,310 $15,714
Seattle $1,265 $15,181
San Diego $1,244 $14,929
Chicago $1,219 $14,631
Los Angeles $1,219 $14,629
Honolulu $1,218 $14,612
Philadelphia $1,198 $14,380
Portland $1,192 $14,298
Houston $1,127 $13,522
Minneapolis $1,120 $13,441
Baltimore $1,110 $13,319
Washington $1,101 $13,217
Denver $1,084 $13,010
Miami $1,083 $13,000
Phoenix $1,046 $12,552
Las Vegas $1,035 $12,422
Dallas $1,028 $12,334
Atlanta $1,026 $12,306


$1,102 $13,218

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