Environmental and Energy Benefits of Public Transit
Public transportation in the US saves 37 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually - equivalent to the emissions resulting from the electricity generated for the use of 4.9 million households or every household in Boston, Washington, DC, New York City, Atlanta, and Los Angeles combined.
On average, if an individual switches a 20-mile roundtrip commute to public transportation, his or her CO2 emissions will decrease by 4,800 pounds per year.
According to the most recent Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) report on congestion, individuals who live in areas served by public transportation save more than 300 million gallons of fuel annually or 4.2 billion gallons nationally.
An individual in Boston can save more than $13,650 annually by taking public transportation.
Household residents living within the proximity of public transportation drive an average of 4,400 fewer miles annually compared to those with no access to public transportation.
Environmental and Energy Initiatives at the MBTA
As the 5th largest transit authority in the U.S, the MBTA carries over 1.3 million passengers every day, providing residents with a clean, sustainable alternative to the automobile. Without the MBTA, tens of thousands of additional pounds of carbon dioxide and other pollutants that contribute to climate change would enter the atmosphere every year.
The MBTA now purchases 20% of all its electricity needs from certified renewable energy sources. As the largest single consumer, this renewable energy means approximately 36,000 tons of greenhouse gases are not released into the atmosphere. That is the equivalent of over 11,700 Massachusetts homes.
The MBTA upgraded 40 locations with efficient lights and fixtures and reduced its annual electricity consumption by 4.6 million kWh and demand by 739 kW. This reduction equates to a green house gas savings of 3,172 metric tons and a cost savings of $579,000.00 annually. Additional upgrades throughout the system will soon be underway.
The MBTA recycled a total of 1,319,578 lbs in 2011 which included 848,000 lbs of newsprint recycled by customers at stations.