DRPT administers federal and state funding for public transportation services and programs throughout the Commonwealth. If you commute to work or travel, DRPT helps you get there whether by the Metro in Northern Virginia, GRTC in downtown Richmond, TRAFFIX in Hampton Roads or riding The Breeze transit service through the Shenandoah Valley.
Public transportation is vital to Virginia. Three of the 75 largest transit agencies operate in the Commonwealth. The Metro is the nation’s third most heavily-used rail transit system, with more than 600,000 average weekday passenger trips. The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) commuter rail system is one of the fastest-growing commuter rail services in the United States.
In Virginia there are many public transit service operators and commuter service programs that provide a choice of alternatives to driving private vehicles. Carpools, vanpools, transit, passenger ferry, commuter rail, biking, walking and teleworking are smart ways for Virginians to get to work and travel around the state.
Public Transportation Saves Money. The average household spends 18 cents out of every dollar on transportation, and 96% of this goes to buying, maintaining, and operating cars. Traffic congestion costs an average of $2,000 per household per year – from wasted gasoline and lost productivity, to increased automobile maintenance. Individuals who ride public transportation instead of driving can save, on average, more than $10,000 annually.
Public Transportation Saves Time and Reduces Congestion. In the Washington, D.C. area, during peak commuting periods about 20 percent of drivers’ time is spent idling in traffic. Public transportation has a proven record of reducing congestion and studies show that in the U.S. it has saved 865 million hours per year in travel. Every commuter railcar reduces 125 vehicles from our roads. A single bus can eliminate 40 vehicles, and vanpools remove over 6,000 cars a year from Virginia roads.
Public Transportation Provides Economic Opportunity. Public transportation is a smart investment. Every dollar dedicated to public transportation generates approximately four dollars in economic returns. Public transportation is a $68 billion industry with over 7,700 organizations providing public transportation services and employing over 420,000 people in the U.S.
For Many People, Public Transportation is Their Preferred Mode of Travel. Millennials and baby boomers are increasingly becoming multi-modal and moving to communities that provide robust public transportation options. Public transportation is also a lifeline for the disabled, the elderly, and for those who cannot or choose not to drive. It provides access to jobs, to schools, to visit friends, or to a doctor’s office. Public transportation provides personal mobility and freedom for people from every walk of life.
Public transportation riders aren’t the only beneficiaries.
- When cars stay off the road, their pollutants stay out of the air. Our nation’s carbon emissions are reduced by 37 million metric tons annually, which is equivalent to the electricity consumption of every household in New York City, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Los Angeles and Denver.
- Public transportation reduces gasoline consumption. Due to its use, our country saves 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline per year.
- Public transportation provides economic revitalization. Residential property values perform an average of 42% better when located near high-frequency public transportation services.
To find out more about Public Transportation Grants, see the Transit Grants page.