In 1965, the Beatles had a hit song called "Ticket To Ride." With today's soaring gas prices, many commuters are realizing that the Fab Four may have been onto something.
With an average fill-up costing anywhere from $40 to $60 each time you visit the pump, it's easy to see why people are opting for alternative modes of transportation and why ridership on trains and buses continues to increase.
According to the American Public Transportation Association, an average transit user saves between $300 and $3,000 worth of gasoline per year. Overall, public transportation saves approximately 855 million gallons of gas each year.
"Public transportation is the quickest way people can beat the high price of gas," said APTA President William W. Millar.
While some commuters may struggle with relinquishing control of their car to rely on the schedule of a bus or train, consider this fact: The second most expensive cost American families currently incur is paying for their transportation needs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Using the rail or bus system can positively impact families' bottom line and put money back in their pockets.
Public transportation is growing in popularity. Since 1995, transit use has increased by 25 percent.
"More and more people are choosing to ride public transportation. With rising gas prices, it is obvious that people need to have transportation choices besides driving a car," Millar said.
For those considering using public transportation, APTA provides the following tips on getting started:
* Log on to www.publictransportation.org to find your local transit system.
* Go to your local system's Web site to find information on schedules and fares.
* Ask your employer if transit benefits are provided. Employers may provide up to $105 a month in pre-tax money for employees to use public transportation. These transit benefits can also be used for parking at transit stations.
* When visiting a community, consider the discounted one-day pass for tourists.