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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

San Diegans Encouraged To ‘Dump The Pump’ For Public Transit

Commuters board the San Diego Trolley near Old Town on June 20, 2013.

Photo by Susan Murphy

Above: Commuters board the San Diego Trolley near Old Town on June 20, 2013.

People across San Diego County were encouraged today to leave their cars at home and instead take the trolley, train or bus as part of a national effort to reduce oil dependence and pollution.

People across San Diego County were encouraged today to leave their cars at home and instead take the trolley, train or bus as part of a national effort to reduce oil dependence and pollution.

Dump the Pump day highlights the benefits of taking public transportation, including saving money on gas and car maintenance.

San Diegans in a two-person household can save an average of $10,428 annually by downsizing to one car, according to the latest Transit Savings Report by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA),

Domingo Ramirez started taking public transportation two weeks ago for his daily commute from Old Town to La Jolla and said he enjoys the scenic ride and anticipates he’ll save thousands of dollars.

"I imagine I might save $7,000 to $8,000 a year, and that’s not counting the wear and tear on my car, and myself," said Ramirez.

San Diego County commuters take an average of 300,000 bus or trolley trips each day. Rob Schupp, spokesperson for the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, said ridership is on the rise, and so are the number of bus and trolley routes.

"We’re really extensive," said Schupp. "We’ve got 90 bus routes. 53 miles of double track trolley. We’ve got brand new trolley cars out there. We serve a lot of people in San Diego. I think it can work for a lot more people too."

Switching to public transportation also reduces pollution. A person with a 20-mile commute can reduce carbon emissions by approximately 20 pounds per day, according to APTA.

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