Today is Dump the Pump day in the U.S.

What does June 19 mean to you? For some, it means the third annual "Dump The Pump" day. Considering that I find myself in Philadelphia today, it caught my eye that the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is one of the more than 100 systems participating in the effort to encourage people to take public transportation instead of the car. Considering, too, that I'm in Philly without a car and need to get over to Camden, NJ in a little while, I think I will avail myself of the buses and trains that run through the cities.

Dump The Pump is sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), which offers a game called Whack-A-Pump! on their website (yes, it's what you think it is). If taking out your anger at gas stations by stealing their fuel isn't your style, this is a safe alternative.

Press Release:

SEPTA to Participate in National Dump the Pump Day

PHILADELPHIA, June 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- SEPTA will join more than 100 transit systems nationwide in promoting the use of public transportation during the third annual National Dump the Pump Day on Thursday, June 19.

Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), National Dump the Pump Day encourages commuters to try public transportation as a way to save on the high costs of fuel and also promotes the benefits of public transportation in improving the environment.

With gasoline prices currently over $4 a gallon, thousands of commuters in the Greater Philadelphia region have already discovered that SEPTA provides a comfortable and cost effective alternative to driving. Overall SEPTA ridership has increased by five percent since last year.

To make travel on SEPTA even easier, SEPTA now offers a special promotional roundtrip fare on its regional rail trains valid for travel to and from Center City Philadelphia during weekends and major holidays. The new promotional roundtrip weekend fares allow commuters to save money while traveling to many of upcoming events, including summer concert events at Penn's Landing, Welcome America festivities and the July 4th fireworks spectacular.

Earlier this year SEPTA announced efforts to educate the public about the environmental benefits of riding public transportation with its "Go Green Go SEPTA" initiative. Riding public transportation is one of the most significant and immediate actions a solo commuter can take to reduce environmental impacts.

Vehicle exhaust is the second largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, pumping nearly 1.5 billion tons into the atmosphere annually. Public transportation, on the other hand, is a net CO2 reducer. A 40 seat bus with just seven passengers is more fuel-efficient than the average car. A full bus is six times more efficient and a full train is 15 times more efficient.

In fact, the annual carbon savings from a solo commuter switching to public transportation is more than the savings from home weatherizing, thermostat regulation, replacement of five incandescent bulbs with fluorescent lamps, and installation of an energy-efficient refrigerator combined.

In addition, SEPTA has taken important measures to further minimize the environmental impact of its bus fleet. SEPTA currently has 32 diesel-electric hybrid buses on the road and will introduce an additional 400 new hybrid buses between 2008 and 2011.

The hybrid buses are nearly one-third more fuel efficient than standard diesel buses and further reduce carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide emissions by 80% and 38% respectively. All hybrid buses are proudly identified with a Go Green Go SEPTA logo. SEPTA has also retrofitted the entire bus fleet to operate on cleaner, ultra low-sulfur fuel to make its existing non-hybrid buses more environmentally-friendly.

SEPTA information is available online at or by calling the SEPTA Customer Service Department at 215-580-7800.

[Source: SEPTA]

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