Why Not Use Public Transit?

Many of us would like to drive less. Individually, we could save on gas, car repairs, insurance, and parking fees. Spend less time behind the wheel in rush hour. Collectively, we would reduce dependence on foreign oil, lower highway infrastructure costs, preserve our natural habitat, and reduce emissions that cause global warming.

People continue to use automobiles for a variety of reasons, including convenience, flexibility, and speed with which a car gets you from point A to point B. Our Transit Accessibility Index (TAI) offers an objective measure of the accessibility of any location by public transit compared to private vehicle. A TAI of 1.0 means that it is just as quick to travel to a location by public transit as it is by private vehicle, while a TAI of 3.0 means public transit will take three times as long.

We have a few simple ways to reduce automobile use.

First: when you and your friends are traveling together, consider whether your destination is transit accessible. If your destination has a TAI of 1.0, why not use public transit?

Second, when you need to go somewhere--for shopping, entertainment, work, or a meeting--consider transit accessible locations. Even if some people choose to drive, meeting in a transit accessible location gives everyone the opportunity to use public transit, while meeting in an inaccessible location takes away that choice.

How do you find sites that transit accessible? We've just put up three pages that provide information about accessibility and help you make more informed choices:

- TAI: WMATA Rail, Northern Virginia, Rush Hour: Service by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Admistration (WMATA) in Northern Virginia (NoVa).
- TAI: Panera Bread near 22102, Weekday Morning : Service to four Panera Bread stores in NoVa.
- TAI: Northern Virginia, Rush Hour (Example): WMATA service to various locations in Northern Virginia (NoVa).

Do you have a group or organization that would like to learn more about how you can reduce your driving? We'd love to hear from you!