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Dump The Pump and Save This Summer

Source:  Intercity Transit

Olympia, WA – Dodging high summer gas prices can help commuters save big, especially in these tough economic times. With high gas prices and household budgets already stretched thin, area commuters are experiencing the value of transit. A typical commuter who leaves his or her car behind each workday can save thousands of dollars a year just by avoiding gas and parking costs.

This month, Intercity Transit joins other public transportation systems in the Puget Sound and across
the country in national Dump the Pump Day, Thursday, June 16. Commuters are encouraged
to ride the bus, carpool or vanpool, walk or bicycle instead of driving alone. The national effort
emphasizes that public transportation saves people money, helps the environment and increases the
nation’s energy independence.

The average price of gasoline in Washington State is 91 cents higher than a year ago, according
to AAA.*  As a result of the high cost of gas and the prolonged recession, transportation costs cut
increasingly into household budgets. Many people, however, are looking to transit services for a
solution. Fixed-route boardings on Intercity Transit have surpassed previous monthly ridership
records, above 400,000 for each of the past three months (March, April and May 2011). The system’s
vanpool use has grown by over 200 daily commuters and 12 new vanpool groups since the beginning
of this year.

“We saw a huge increase in demand for our services when fuel prices jumped dramatically in
2008. Many of these people stayed with us, and now with the latest round of high fuel prices,
more people are discovering the value of transit,” states Intercity Transit General Manager Mike
Harbour.

*AAA: The average cost of gas in Washington State this week is 3.88 per gallon. That’s 18 cents higher than the national average. In the Olympia area, AAA reports the average price of gas this week is $3.86 per gallon.  Last year at this time AAA reported the average cost of gas in Washington State was $2.97.

Officials indicate public transportation moves a significant number of people in the U.S. in ways that reduces the impact on roadways and climate while supporting the economy. Nationally, about 10 billion trips are taken each year on public transportation as people get to and from jobs, schools, shopping, recreation and other activities. Regionally, about 200 million trips were taken on Puget Sound transit systems last year. Locally, Intercity Transit provides 5.1 million rides a year and about 17,000 total boarding’s each weekday.**

Commuters interested in learning what their individual savings can be by using one or more fuel friendly transportation options can visit Intercity Transit’s cost calculator at www.intercitytransit.com, or contact the agency’s Customer Service office for more information at 360.786.1881 or email customerservice@intercitytransit.com.

Intercity Transit Service Options

•High frequency bus service that is convenient, reliable and operates along major corridors in Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater, every 15 minutes all day long.

•23 routes serve Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Yelm, and Tacoma, with connections to regional transit systems for travel near and far.

•Travel training is a free, individual and small-group coaching for people who want to learn the how-to’s of riding the bus. 360.705.5879 or traveltraining@intercitytransit.com.

•Customized trip planning to help riders find the best way to get where they’re going by bus. Call Customer Service at 360.786.1881 or email customerservice@intercitytransit.com.

•Vanpools for commuting to and from work throughout the Puget Sound Region.  Commuters can ride their first week free as a trial. Contact Vanpool/Carpool Services at 360.786.8800 or e-mail vans@intercitytransit.com.

•Carpool Matching a free, online service for people searching for vanpool or carpool partners, www.rideshareonline.com or call 360.786.8800.

•Village Vans program provides work related transportation for low income individuals who are making the transition to economic independence through work-related activities.  Trips are provided free with advance reservations, call 360.705.5840 for additional information.

•Community Vans is a reservation-based transportation option for qualified community organizations to transport groups on an as-needed basis, call 360.705.5853 for more information, or email communityvans@intercitytransit.com.

Pass Programs Save More

Many commuters realize additional savings by taking advantage of employer subsidies for bus passes or vanpool fares. In Thurston County, state of Washington employees ride Intercity Transit free with a STAR Pass, a benefit made possible through a contract between the state of Washington and the transit agency. Similar programs exist for  Thurston County employees, students at South Puget Sound Community College, Saint Martin’s University, and The Evergreen State College.

Intercity Transit charges $2 for an all-day pass and $1 for a one-way trip. Monthly passes cost $15 (student and reduced fare) to $30 (adult) and are good for unlimited travel for the month on local bus service throughout Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and Yelm. Express routes to and from Tacoma are also a deal at just $2.50 each way (additional fare is required to connect with Sound Transit for service to Seattle). Compare the cost of a transit pass against just one fill up at the gas pump and the cost benefit of transit is clear.

For More Information:
Meg Kester
Intercity Transit
360-705-5842
www.intercitytransit.com

**Total system ridership including Intercity Transit bus, vanpool, Dial-A-Lift and smaller van transportation services.

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