Metro Asks Drivers to “Dump the Pump”

Annual event highlights push to encourage public transportation ridership

Metro wants drivers to leave the car keys at home and give its buses and trains a try today for National Dump the Pump Day.

Gasoline prices in LA averaged more than $4 a gallon Thursday, and officials are hoping the steady increase might drive Angelenos to give public transit a try.

“Every day, Metro puts 2,000 buses on our streets and trains on 88 miles of light rail and subway tracks. There is a very good chance that Metro has a transportation alternative that works for you,” Metro Board Chair Diane DuBois said in a statement.

Sponsored by industry trade group American Public Transportation Association, the annual National Dump the Pump Day encourages drivers to find ways to stay off the road - something more people are doing in recent years.

In a recent statement, the trade group said Americans took 10.7 billion trips on public transit, the highest number in 57 years. It also said ridership is up 37.2 percent since 1995.

Metro’s number of boardings increased 19.7 million between 2011 and 2013 to 472.7 million boardings.

In May, Metro raised one-time fares from $1.50 to $1.75 as part of an effort to close a $36.8 million operating budget deficit. It also added two-hour transfers to be included in the fare price.

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