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 the Virginia Breeze transit service throughout the Shenandoah Valley.
Public transportation is vital to Virginia. Three of the 75 largest transit agencies operate in the Commonwealth. The Washington Metro is the nation's third most heavily-used rail transit systems with more than 600,000 average weekday passenger trips. Also, 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 throughout the state.
Public Transportation Saves Money. The average household spends 18 cents out of every dollar on transportation; and 93 percent goes to buying, maintaining, and operating vehicles. Traffic congestion costs an average of $2,000 per household annually from wasted gasoline and lost productivity to increased automobile maintenance. Individuals who ride public transportation instead of driving can save more than $10,000 on average annually.
Public Transportation Saves Time and Reduces Congestion. In the Washington area, during peak commuting periods about 20 percent of a driver's time is spent idling in traffic. Public transportation has a proven record of reducing congestion and studies show that in the United States it has saved 865 million hours per year in travel. Every commuter rail car reduces 125 vehicles from our roads. A single bus can eliminate 40 vehicles, and vanpools remove over 6,000 cars annually 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 7,7000 organizations providing public transportation services and employing over 420,000 people annually.
Public Transportation is The 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 also is a lifeline for the disabled, the elderly, and for individuals who cannot or choose not to drive. It provides access to jobs, schools, friends, or the doctor's office. Public transportation provides personal mobility and freedom for people from every walk of life.
Public transportation riders are not 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 the equivalent to the electricity consumption of every household in New York City, Washington, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Denver. Public transportation also reduces gasoline consumption. Due to its use, our country saves 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually. It also provides economic revitalization. Residential property values perform an average of 42 percent better when located near high-frequency public transportation services.