Go Green – Take SamTrans or Caltrain on Earth Day

Go Green – Take SamTrans or Caltrain on Earth Day

Some lucky SamTrans and Caltrain riders may take home a thank-you gift on Earth Day, delivered by teams sent to acknowledge them for “going green.”

The April 22 customer appreciation event is being put on by the San Mateo County Transit District, the managing agency for both SamTrans and Caltrain, along with the Peninsula Traffic Congestion Relief Alliance, the agency’s transit partner.

During the morning commute, transit teams will give out premium pass holders to passengers at the Colma BART Station, as well as the bus stops at the Hillsdale Shopping Center on Hillsdale Boulevard in San Mateo and the Redwood City transit center. The outreach teams will head to Half Moon Bay later in the day, distributing the pass holders to bus passengers. The District’s Marketing Department, in conjunction with several radio stations, will be providing goodie bags at the San Francisco and San Jose Caltrain stations.

“We want to convey to our riders how much we appreciate our customers,” said Marketing Manager Pat Boland. “Earth Day gives us a timely reminder of how transit riders benefit the environment because they’re reducing the number of cars on the road, which helps everyone.”

For an individual, there may be no better choice for reducing their personal carbon footprint: switching to transit reduces individual carbon emissions by 20 pounds per day or 4,800 pounds per year.

During the week of April 19-23, the Alliance also is sponsoring an opportunity for people who work in San Mateo County to receive a free TransLink card, loaded with $10 in value. The reloadable card allows people to pay fares on multiple transit systems and can currently be used on Caltrain, BART, Muni, Golden Gate Transit and Ferry, and AC Transit.

According to the American Public Transportation Association, Americans took 10.2 billion trips on public transportation in 2009. More than 15 million passengers turned to SamTrans as an alternative to driving, and nearly 7 million riders used Caltrain.

Not only is public transportation good for the environment, but individuals who ride public transportation can save on average $9,293 annually based on the April 5, 2010 national average gas price and unreserved monthly parking rate. On a per month basis, transit riders can save on average $774 per month. Over the past month the cost per gallon of gas has increased 13 cents.

The Transit Savings Report, released monthly by APTA, calculates the average annual and monthly savings for public transit users. The report examines how an individual in a two-person household can save money by taking public transportation and living with one less car.

For help with trip planning on SamTrans or Caltrain, call 1-800-660-4287.

Media Contact: Tasha Bartholomew, 650-508-7927