Transit trip increase means using less gas
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09/22/09 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday

During the last year, Florida has saved more than 100 million gallons of gasoline because of a record number of trips taken on transit. That’s according to a report from Environment Florida called Getting On Track: Record Transit Ridership Increases Energy Independence.” Environment Florida advocate Adam Rivera says lawmakers should do more to encourage savings from transit.

The total number of trips on transit increased by 3% in Florida from the first half of 2008 to the first half of this year, according to the report. That resulted in a reduction of nearly a million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Tampa City Council member Linda Saul-Sena also serves on the Metropolitan Planning Organization, which helps allocate state and federal transportation funds.

Taking transit has resulted in the equivalent of removing more than 180,000 cars from the state’s roads, according to the report. At a press conference Tuesday morning near the Amtrak rail lines at Tampa Union Station, Robert Armstead says that transit allows Floridians to “travel in a much more resource-friendly way.” He’s a federal policy analyst with the Florida Conservation Alliance Institute. “We need incentives for this.”

Thomas Crisman is a professor of environment at the Patel Center for Global Solutions at the University of South Florida. Increasing mass transit options should be a national security priority, according to Crisman, and not only because it would reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil.

Environment Florida

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