Tomorrow is National Dump the Pump Day – a day set aside to encourage people to try public transit instead of driving. The idea, one we like to promote around here on a daily basis, is that switching to transit can save you money and reduce your oil consumption. Of course, reducing your oil consumption has recently become a much bigger deal thanks to the BP oil spill and all the national attention it’s received. In April – just days after the oil spill began – we wrote about a report from the Federal Transit Administration that showed that transit had significantly less carbon emissions that driving. Well over a month later and with oil still spilling in the Gulf, the report has more relevance than ever.
Of course, it’s hard to switch to transit without the proper infrastructure in place but luckily in L.A. great strides are being made to change that. Tomorrow at 10am Mayor Villaraigosa will join Santa Monica Mayor Pro Tem and Metro director Pam O’Connor and other Metro officials at the East Portal of Union Station to present a large interactive model showcasing the planned transit improvements in L.A. County – transit improvements that officials hope will transform L.A. from the car capital of the world to the transit capital. An ambitious goal to be sure, but thanks to growing support for the 30/10 initiative it’s a goal that may actually have a chance.
Also, the 20th anniversary of Metro Rail will be celebrated. It’s hard to believe that L.A. went without urban rail for almost 40 years until the Blue Line opened in 1990.
Of course, infrastructure is just one part of the equation, the public has to be willing to “dump the pump” and hop on transit as well. Even opting to ride just once a week can make a difference both financially and environmentally.
Dump the Pump Day Metro Showcase [add to Google Calendar]
Mayor Villaraigosa and Metro officials showcase L.A.’s transit plans.
Where: East Portal, Union Station, 801 Vignes Street
Nearby Rail: Red/Purple Line/Gold Line Union Station