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Commuting study looks at savings
Commuting study says public transportation saves time and money.

Date published: 2/11/2013

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By Scott Shenk

THE RECENT report that tabbed the Washington area as having the worst congestion in the nation put some perspective on the impact commuting has on lives.

It's loud and clear that commuting creates unneeded stress while robbing many thousands of an awful lot of time and money.

But there are ways to cut down on all of that: public transportation.

The report by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute included some interesting information on the positive impact of public transportation.

In the 498 urban areas covered in the report, the institute claimed that mass transit saved a total of 865 million hours of delays and 450 million more gallons of fuel.

All that fuel and time would have been wasted had those riders been drivers. The transportation institute puts the overall value of that time and fuel at $20.8 billion.

The local numbers are big, too.

D.C. commuters who use public transportation saved 33,810 hours and $711 million, according to the TTI report. That is good for fifth-best among the areas studied.

"This report demonstrates how important public transportation is, not only as one of the solutions to reducing traffic congestion, but also in reducing fuel use and travel delays," said Michael Melaniphy, president and CEO of American Public Transportation Association, in a release.

He also touted the environmental benefits of public transportation (from reduced emissions) and the amount of jobs mass transit creates.

Traffic, he said, "will continue to increase. We need more public transportation, not less."


As many of you may recall from a recent column, Hasbro decided to ditch one of the classic pieces from its Monopoly board game.

The company ran a promotion allowing the public to vote out the piece. Hasbro, in turn, would pick the new one.

The results are in.

The race car survived. So did the Scottie dog, as predicted in this column.

That was an easy call. But wait, it gets better.

This writer suggested that it would be nice to see the iron go and the cat brought in as the new piece.

You guessed it. Not only did the iron get the heave-ho, but the cat was picked as the new game piece.

Actually, that wasn't too hard to predict, either.

Who wants to be an iron, anyway? And how could you not have dogs and cats in a game like Monopoly?

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436
Email: sshenk@freelancestar.com