Public TransitA new study by the American Public Transportation Association [APTA] says San Franciscans can save more than $1,100 a month and over $13,300 a year by opting to take public transportation instead of owning a car. With gas prices in San Francisco well over $4 per gallon (and in some locations approaching $5 per gallon), the potential for this kind of savings has never been more critical.

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Besides helping individuals and families with their finances, these savings amount to a profound local economic stimulus program. Most of the money that San Franciscan’s save when they ride public transit, or walk or bike to work, goes directly into our local economy – rather than to oil companies or foreign oil producers.

Studies like this serve as a reminder of how critical it is to re-create a reliable and convenient public transportation system in San Francisco. Business as usual from MUNI means a profound negative impact on our local economy. It’s not just about the inconvenience and frustration for commuters, it’s also about a stronger, healthier and more vibrant economy in San Francisco.

Grist has covered this topic quite extensively with their BIKENOMICS series, showing the economic benefits of riding a bike rather than owning a car, and this new study from the APTA demonstrates, once again, how powerful the economic impact of expanding public transit can be.