Started by the American Public Transportation Association in 2006 to encourage people to ride public transportation instead of driving alone in a car, the National Dump the Pump Day for 2018 is Thursday, June 21.
Need more motivation to participate? Autumn Cobeland and her husband did a little more than dump the pump a few years ago. The Raleigh family dumped their second car entirely. According to APTA, the average household can save more than $10,100 a year by downsizing to one car.
“We recognized that my husband was paying for a parking spot at his building in downtown Raleigh, and his car was sitting there all day long,” says Cobeland, a Raleigh native and artist. “I was running around with kids in the other car. It slowly sunk in to us that it was not generally necessary to have one car just sitting around all day long.”
The family decided that one or both of them could easily take a bus downtown from their home in Five Points, he to his job as a lawyer in the Wells Fargo building and she to her studio at Artspace. They even discovered that their daughters could easily take a public bus to their middle school downtown.
“So far it’s been pretty effortless,” she says. “Our church is maybe two or so miles away, too. Somebody might bike and bike home if staying for a meeting. The bike has filled in gaps with the one car like the bus has.”
Participating in Dump the Pump Day in fact can mean biking, walking or carpooling. Any mode that isn’t driving alone in a car counts. Want help bicycling to work? There are maps and other resources for bicyclists at gotriangle.org/bike.
Never ridden the bus? Find all you need to know, including an instructional rap video, at bit.ly/ridegotriangle then plug the addresses of where you are and where you need to go into the trip planner at gotriangle.org. Need help planning a route? Call GoTriangle at 919-485-7433.
If it has been awhile since you checked your transit possibilities, you might be pleasantly surprised by how much the Triangle’s transit network has expanded since voters in Wake, Durham and Orange counties approved transit-designated investments. Find out more at goforwardnc.org.
GoTriangle also has numerous park-and-ride lots to help those who don’t live near a transit stop connect with jobs, schools or doctors. Trips on a GoTriangle bus typically cost $2.25, but discount passes are available. Find out more atgotriangle.org/passes.
“My encouragement to others would be to figure out how it works,” Cobeland says. “Pony up the money to see what it’s like. Uber plus a bus also is a magical combination.”
The free TransLoc app can make dumping the pump even easier. GoTriangle buses are equipped with GPS locators, so riders can see them moving in real time and get arrival predictions and proximity alerts. Learn about TransLoc at gotriangle.org/transloc.
“TransLoc lets me know where the bus is, when it’s going to show up,” Cobeland says. “Historically, you’d get to the bus stop and there’s nothing telling you when the bus is coming, but the reality of our lives now is everyone has a gadget, and the information is fairly accessible.”
And for Cobeland and her family, using public transportation has given them a benefit far beyond saving money or alleviating aggravation.
“In a marriage, it’s been fascinating,” she says. “It gives you one more thing to talk about. What’s your plan this week? When do you need the car? Who’s taking the bus? If it’s raining, we may take pity on the other and go pick them up. Taking the bus has added lovely interactions on a family level.”
Dump the Pump Day 2018
The 13th annual National Dump the Pump Day on June 21 is a day to highlight the many benefits of using public transportation.
From urban to suburban to rural communities, public transportation is a vital resource to Americans and a cornerstone of our nation’s economy and local economies. In fact, public transportation helps to make a community economically competitive. Additionally, public transportation provides economic opportunities since 87 percent of public transit trips
Public transportation use reduces our nation’s dependence on foreign oil by 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline a year and it also saves 37 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually.
Find out more here.