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MTD On Board with National Dump the Pump Day

The agency is sponsoring an essay contest for first-time riders who participate in Thursday's event

The Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District will join other public transportation systems nationwide to participate in the fourth annual National Dump the Pump Day on Thursday.

Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association, the 2009 National Dump the Pump Day is a day that encourages people to ride public transportation to save money, protect the environment, reduce dependence on foreign oil and improve quality of life.

“With the economic downturn affecting everyone, now is the time to save money and ride public transportation,” APTA President William Millar said. “The National Dump the Pump Day on June 18 is an opportunity for people across the country to ease the strain on their wallets and provide a more secure future for America.”

Individuals can achieve an average savings of more than $8,000 by taking public transportation instead of driving and by living with one fewer car. For every $1 invested in public transportation infrastructure, $6 is generated in economic returns to communities.

“Public transportation also has an important role to play in the energy and environmental debate,” said David Damiano, manger of transit development and community relations. “If you leave your car behind to take public transportation, you will be helping to reduce America’s dependence on foreign energy and combat climate change.”

Public transportation saves 900,000 automobile fill-ups each day — 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline per year. Switching to public transportation can reduce individual carbon emissions by 20 pounds per day or 4,800 pounds per year.

“By participating in Dump the Pump Day, we hope people who have never used MTD will decide to give us a try instead of driving their car. We will also be showcasing our electric, biodiesel and hybrid buses, so the public knows that MTD is leading the way with environmentally-friendly buses,” Damiano said.

MTD is sponsoring an essay contest for first-time MTD riders who Dump the Pump on Thursday. Send your “How I Dumped the Pump” essay (the limit is 150 words and participants must be age 18 or older) to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Entries must be publishable on the MTD Web site and possibly other media. The deadline for entries is July 3. The first prize is an MTD 30-day pass, a $52 value. Entries must include a name, address, phone or cell number and age.

“America is facing a number of significant economic challenges right now,” MTD General Manager Sherrie Fisher said. “People who use public transportation are helping to answer those challenges for themselves and for their country.”

— Kate Schwab is a communications specialist for Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District.

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