Commuters urged to ‘Dump the Pump’


In metro Atlanta, public transit plays a larger role in maneuvering traffic than you might think. Many commuters might be surprised to learn, for instance, that without these systems, our region’s traffic delay would increase by 10,520,000 hours annually, and the annual costs associated with that traffic congestion would increase by $232 million. (Source: 2012 Texas Transportation Institute Mobility Report)

Saving money and reducing delay are two of the main benefits promoted by Dump the Pump, an annual campaign designed to promote transit as a commute alternative that saves on gas and time. While Dump the Pump 2015 officially occurs June 18, local entities such as MARTA and Georgia Commute Options are running promotions leading up to the event to encourage Atlanta transit use as an alternative to driving alone.

Consider this: The average one-way commute time in metro Atlanta is 34 minutes and covers 18.3 miles, costing the average metro Atlanta commuter $340 a month** once fuel, maintenance and parking costs are accounted for. Compare that to the $95 it costs to ride MARTA for a month, and the savings are hard to ignore.

“Dump the Pump is a great opportunity for drivers to see what a hassle-free commute feels like. Instead of the usual angst associated driving in traffic, a person can spend that time reading a book, listening to music or catching up on email,” MARTA spokesperson Lyle V. Harris said. “Make the switch, just for a day, to see how you like it. Commuters will often find that transit is faster and easier than they once thought — and that it’s a great option for getting to work at least once or twice a week, if not every day.”

For this year’s Dump the Pump celebration, MARTA is bringing back its popular scavenger hunt on June 20 at Five Points station. More info can be found at In addition to MARTA’s efforts, Georgia Commute Options will offer a week-long commute logging challenge, entering anyone who logs a public transit commute on the between June 15 and 19 into a $25 prize raffle, with one winner selected per day.

“We’re excited to help MARTA get the word out about the benefits of taking transit,” says Cindy VanDyke, Georgia DOT state transportation planning administrator. “By choosing alternative commute modes, metro Atlanta commuters can impact our region’s traffic and air quality in significant, positive ways.”

Georgia Commute Options encourages “clean commuting” — that is, using alternatives to driving alone — by offering prizes and incentives to commuters who make the switch. When drive-alone commuters switch to an alternative like transit, they are eligible to earn $3 a Day, up to $100. Other commute alternatives promoted by Georgia Commute Options include carpooling, vanpooling, teleworking, walking and biking to work. Clean commuters (including transit riders) can regularly log their trips to win prizes at