How often do you use public transit services? That’s the question groups like Citizens for Regional Transit, Go Buffalo, GObike and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus are asking Western New Yorkers.
It’s the 13th annual National Dump the Pump Day, although the event has turned in to more of a month long awareness campaign for organizations like the NFTA.
NFTA Public Affairs Director Helen Tederous said this is a constant campaign they are engaging in. So far it seems to be yielding positive results.
“What we found so many times is when people that do try a few days a week with public transportation, they tend to really make that full commitment. That’s something we are extremely proud of,” she said.
In Western New York, a two-person household can save close to $1,000 per year by downsizing to one car according to the American Public Transportation Association. Tederous said larger families save even more when including insurance costs and vehicle maintenance.
She understands that may not be an option for some, but thinks people will be pleased if they try at least once or twice a week.
“People will find that they really really like it. We’ve talked to a lot of individuals,” said Tederous. “We started our campaign earlier this month and we’ve been getting great feedback from people who tell us—I can’t do public transportation every day. I do try a few days a week and I really love the benefits.”
Tederous said over the years the message has stayed the same, but the channel has changed. Social media has become one of the best ways to raise awareness.
“We’ve been profiling our employees who use public transportation and all the benefits they have found when they have switched over,” said Tederous. “They like to move around, they like to increase their physical activity, and they know that it reduces stress. What we’ve been doing is providing those stories on our social media channels throughout the month.”
As part of today’s event, anyone with a ticket to tonight’s Buffalo Bisons game will be able to ride the metro bus and rail for free.