Facts & Figures

Public Transitwww.pedbikeimages.org/LauraSandt

Public transit is viewed as 170 times safer than automobile travel according to the National Safety Council.

In 2005, congestion caused 4.2 billion hours of travel delay and 2.9 billion gallons of wasted fuel, equaling a cost of more than $78 billion.  (The 2007 Urban Mobility Report, Texas Transportation Institute)

Nine billion gallons of fuel are wasted in traffic each year - 800 times the amount of oil spilled by Exxon Valdez.  (The Association for Commuter Transportation)

Taking public transit saves an average household over $6,000 on automobile expenses per year.  (Victoria Transport Planning Institute)

Compared w/ priva te vehicles, public transportation produces, on average, per passenger mile, 95 percent less carbon monoxide, 92 percent fewer volatile organic compounds, 45 percent less carbon dioxide and 48 percent less nitrogen oxide.  (National Safety Council)

Each year, public transportation saves 1,500 million gallons in auto fuel consumption-150 times the 10 million gallons spilled by the Exxon Valdez.  (American Public Transportation Association)

For every 10,000 solo commuters who leave their cars at home and commute on an existing public transportation service for one year, the nation reduces fuel consumption by 2.7 million gallons.  (American Public Transportation Association)

Motorized transportation accounts for 32 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, 28 percent of common air pollution, 51 percent of toxic air pollution, and 23 percent of toxic water pollution.  (Brower and Leon, 1999)

A bus with as few as seven passengers can be more fuel efficient in terms of passenger miles per gallon than a single-occupant vehicle used for commuting.  (American Public Transportation Association)

Nearly one-third of Michigan residents don't drive because they're too young, too old, or physically unable; they choose not to drive; or they can't afford a vehicle.  (MLUI, 2000)

Ride Bikewww.pedbikeimages.org/DanBurdens

Michigan consistently ranks among the heaviest states in the nation: 62 percent of Michigan adults are overweight or obese, and the prevalence of overweight children has tripled during the last 20 years.  (Michigan Department of Community Health)

A survey conducted by the Michigan Department of Community Health, less than 50 percent of adults reported meeting the recommended 30 minutes per day of physical activity. Twenty-five percent said they participated in no leisure-time physical activity at all.

Regular exercise reduces depression and improves self-esteem in overweight children.  (Petty, K., et al., 2008)

Bicycling for transportation can reduce mortality by 35 to 40%.  (Matthews et al., Andersen et al.)

50% of all trips are 3 miles or less-a perfect distance for a bike ride.  (2001 National Household Transportation)

The average annual operating cost of a bicycle is $308, 2.25% that of the yearly cost of an average car ($13,646).  (Mortiz, W., 1997)

On the same urban route, car drivers were exposed to more airborne pollution than cyclists, dispite the cyclists' higher respiration rates.  (Rank, J. et al., 2001) 

An average 150-pound person will burn about 500 calories riding a bike at a leisurely pace, 30 minutes to work and 30 minutes home. At that rate, you'll shed 5-10 pounds in about two or three months. By riding your bike or walking to work you no longer need to make time to head to the gym and just 3 hours of riding per week can slash your risk of heart disease and stroke in half.  (Jackson Fitness Council)

Approximately 57 million people, 27.3 percent of the population age 16 or older, rode a bicycle at least once during the summer of 2002.  (2002 National Survey of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Attitudes and Behaviors)

Children who ride a bike two or more times a week are less likely to be overweight.  (Dudas, R., and M. Crocetti, 2008)

Overweight adolescents who participate in bicycling 3 to 4 days per week are 85% more likely to become normal-weight adults.  (Menschik, D., et al., 2008)

40% of Americans say they would commute by bike if parking facilities were available.  (Rodale Press Survey, quoted in HR 1265-Bicycler Commuter Act)


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that:

Adults should accumulate 30 minutes or more of moderately intense physical activity on five or more days per week, or 20 minutes or more of vigorously intense physical activity on three or more days per week.

School-aged children and adolescents should get at least 60 minutes of moderately to vigorously intense physical activity every day.  (CDC, 2006)

According to the American Heart Association, physical activity has the power to:

Increase energy levelswww.pedbikeimages.org/DanBurden

Reduce stress and tension

Improve mood

Reduce the risk of heart disease, colon cancer, and osteoporosis

Maintain range of motion and prevent arthritis

Help prevent and treat type 2 diabetes

Improve blood cholesterol levels

Prevent and treat high blood pressure

Improve weight control

Prevent bone density loss

Improve the quality of sleep and the ability to fall asleep quickly

Improve self-image

Increase muscle strength

Help prevent or delay chronic illness and diseases associated with aging

Increase years of independence at the end of life (American Heart Association, 2005; Wilkinson, 2002)

On a daily basis, each additional hour spent driving is associated with a 6% increase in the likelihood of obesity, while each additional kilometer walked is associated with a 5% reduction in this likelihood.  (American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 2004)

A family that walks two miles a day rather than driving those miles will prevent, on average, 730 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere each year.  (USDOT/FHWA, 1992)

Each commuter who walks or bicycles to work (or takes the bus or train!) could save hundreds of gallons of gasoline per year.  (Shapiro et al., 2002)

28% of all trips are 1 mile or less-a perfect distance for a walk.  (2001 National Household Transportation)

65% of all trips less than a mile are taken by car-but you can change that by Smart Commuting!  (2001 National Household Transportation)

Research shows that rural residents are more likely than urban residents to be physically inactive and to suffer from related illnesses.  (Parks et al., 2003)

The creation of walkable shopping and business districts within communities has resulted in approximately $3 billion in economic growth among shops within those districts.  (International Economic Development Council, 2006)

For those who have access to places for physical activity, the result is a 25 percent increase in the number of people who exercise at least three times a week.  Participants have also reported weight loss and decreases in body fat.  (Center for Disease Control)


Americans spend an average of 47 hours per year sitting in rush-hour traffic. (Texas Transportation Institute)

The number of cars is increasing twice as fast as the population.  (Federal Highway Administration)

Taking into account the costs of gas, repairs, parking, and insurance, the American Automobile Association estimates that driving just one mile in your vehicle costs more than 56 cents.

Transportation expenses consume an average of 18 percent of a family's budget.  With the rising cost of gasoline, fewer driving trips adds up to immediate savings. (U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, and Department of Transportation, 2009)

Carpooling saves an average household over $5,000 on automobile expenses per year.  (Victoria Transport Planning Institute)

In Michigan, 75 cents on every dollar spent on gas leaves our state economy and contributes to creating wealth for out-of-state parties and interests.  (Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council)

Why Smart Commute?

Get Healthy: Burn calories, tone your muscles, and increase your overall fitness level as you walk or bicycle throughout the day.

Save Money: Fuel costs, automobile maintenance, and parking fees make car ownership the second largest household expense.

Be Green: Help make your community a greener place by reducing car trips, the single largest source of air pollution.