On Dump-Pump Day, Metro says divorce your car

The news release from Metro is below. As a car owner (well, a car in the shop with frozen door syndrome) who is not getting or seeking a divorce or spending $13K a year on a car, let me say this: I know that getting rid of a car is not feasible for many people. That said, I encourage everyone to extend the life of their car and save a few dollars by trying transit, walking and bike when possible.


Time for commuters to divorce the single person automobile

With gasoline prices fluctuating wildly above and below $4 per gallon this spring, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) stresses now is the perfect time for commuters to dissolve their marriage with the single person automobile and try bus, rail, vanpool bicycling and walking to discover how much money and time can be saved compared to driving. National Dump the Pump Day, June 18, 2015, highlights an array of mobility options to help people save money on their daily commute.

Commuting to work alone in a car costs more than the price of gasoline. Drivers have to take into account insurance, maintenance, wear and tear, depreciation and parking at many destinations. For example, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) estimates a Los Angeles commuter spends $1,080 more each month to drive a car compared to the $100 cost of a Metro monthly transit pass. Switching to transit can pay the commuter who divorces his car $12,960 annually in “auto-mony.”

“Every day, Metro puts 2,000 buses on our streets and trains on 87 miles of light rail and subway tracks. There is a very good chance that Metro has a transportation alternative that works for you,”      said Metro Board Chair and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Metro Dump The Pump PresserFor commuters with a roundtrip drive of at least 30 miles, Metro also offers an extensive vanpooling program supporting a fleet of about 1,400 public vanpool vehicles destined to L. A. County work sites each day. Nearly 90 percent of Metro Vanpool commuters used to drive alone and, based on ridership statistics, vanpooling results in nearly 7,000 cars off the road each day.

“Vanpool passengers save time and money and benefit by not having wear and tear on their personal vehicles driving to work and back,” said Metro CEO Phillip Washington. “In terms of reducing carbon footprint, we estimate that taking people out of their cars and putting them into vanpools reduces carbon emissions by nearly 4,000 metric tons in L.A. County each month.”

Metrolink fulfills regional rail needs by moving people across six counties with seven lines, 55 stations and 44,000 daily boardings on a 512 route-mile network.

“Metrolink removes approximately 18,000 cars from freeways on a daily basis,” said Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson, who is the chair of the Metrolink Board of Directors. “With an average roundtrip of 70 miles for Metrolink riders, that is more than one and a quarter million miles every weekday where people don’t have to drive a car, courtesy of Metrolink. I like to think of it as a ‘trial separation.’”

APTA reports that in 2014, Americans took 10.8 billion trips on public transportation, the highest in 58 years.

Metro bus and rail riders continue to increase in numbers. In Fiscal Year 2011, Metro had a total of 453 million boardings. In FY2014, Metro increased that to 475.5 million boardings.

APTA estimates that public transportation in the United States reduces the nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually, which is the equivalent of the electricity usage of Los Angeles, New York City, Washington D.C., Atlanta and Denver combined. In addition, research by the Texas Transportation Institute Census Bureau shows that in 2011, U.S. public transportation use saved 865 million hours in travel time and 450 million gallons of fuel in 498 urban areas.

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6 replies

  1. If possible, always use the same type of fluids and gas in your car. Over the years, the systems in your vehicle will adjust to a certain type of oil or gas. Using a different type of fluid might cause malfunctions or have a significant impact on your mileage. Check the owner’s manual and use the fluids that are recommended.

  2. Why didnt you guys spread the word on here? I had no clue it was dump the pump day until after reading this on the 19th. You should have had a build up to it.

  3. Typical LA mindset of using “Dump Pump” and immediately associate it with cars. Has anyone considered that motorcycles and scooters too rely on gasoline as their primary fuel for locomotion?

    Not everyone in this metropolis gets around with just cars or public transit; there are people who drive motorcycles and scooters to get around LA too you know? In fact, in some countries, motorcycles are just as used frequently to get around than automobiles:


    Please convince me why I should “dump the pump” (as it relates to motorcycles, not cars) when it has these positives:

    1. It’s cheaper to own a motorcycle than a car (able to buy a good scooter for example for about two years worth of monthly Metro passes)
    2. It’s cheaper to maintain than a car
    3. Insurance is cheaper than a car
    4. It’s actually faster to get around in LA than a car (streets in LA are clogged all the time, ability to lane-split FTW)
    5. It’s more fuel efficient than a car (can be as fuel efficient as 100 MPG depending on engine size and model)
    6. It spits out less greenhouse gases than a car (therefore motorcycles do not need bi-annual smog checks = no additional $ spent on such checks)
    7. Cost-per-mile basis, it can be cheaper than Metro (Metro forces you to pay $1.75 per ride which can include short trips to the grocery store, on a scooter that same trip can be pennies with the great fuel economy and extremely low cost of ownership)

    • I currently don’t ride, but have a close relative that does (they commute in all weather on their Triumph Tiger and just did a 500 mile run in a day) and several friends and co-workers that do. For a number of reasons, I can’t divorce my car (I need the seats and load capacity). That being said >95% of my personal miles (as opposed to work) are solo driving. What I have been keeping an eye on is electric bikes. I have yet to see one that has the range (when considering high fwy speeds and the hills that I go through) and doesn’t cost as much as compact car. Once that happens, it will make sense for me to get one and my class M. If I could pull it up onto my back patio and plug it in, that would be solid. I have already talked with the powers that be at work about having plug in parking spots for cars or bikes.

      • “I can’t divorce my car (I need the seats and load capacity). ”

        Who says you have to? I have a motorcycle, I have a car, I have a bicycle, and I take Metro. Just because I have a motorcycle doesn’t mean I have to divorce my car, bicycle, or Metro; I can keep all of them and choose to take whatever works best for their means.

        Consider the benefits of riding the motorcycle/scooter on the weekdays (regular weekday commuting) but keeping the car for the weekends (shopping, groceries, weekend trips). Because your regular weekday commuting is what you use the most frequently, it makes sense to go with the most cheapest and efficient method to do it. By all means, my motorcycle fits that bill perfectly for regular weekday commuting. I only need the car on the weekends. By using the car only for the weekends, I put less mileage on the car, my car lasts longer without needing more maintenance, and it even lowered my auto insurance rate. It’s a common known fact that nowadays that people who only put 5,000 miles/yr on a car (i.e. only drive on the weekends) pay significantly less in auto insurance than those who drive 10,000 miles/yr (use the car for every needs).

        Having the tools to do the right job is the key. I can use a hammer or a mallet to put a nail through the wall. Both of them does the same job, one takes more effort and overkill than the other. I don’t need a car to go buy a six pack of beer at my local 7-Eleven, my bicycle does the same job. I don’t need a car to get to work 10 miles away; my motorcycle does the same job. I don’t need a car to get into DTLA and pay the exorbiant parking fees; Metro does the same job.

        By process of elimination, the only need I have for a car is to go to Costco on the weekends.

      • “Just because I have a motorcycle doesn’t mean I have to divorce my car, bicycle, or Metro; I can keep all of them and choose to take whatever works best for their means.”

        Sounds like you and I are in agreement.

        And just the same as an individual making a choice between multiple modes of travel, a family needs to consider a mixed palatte of travel options. The person with the longest commute should be using the most fuel efficient/cheapest method. Also, considering that most families tend to be 2 or more cars, having one as an electric can easily be a valid option.