If you are like the average person in the U.S., you’ll spend nearly an hour a day commuting to, and from work, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That time in the car plus your other errands means you’re generating a lot of carbon emissions.
Single occupant car transportation in the U.S. and globally contributes to high rates of CO2 emissions. The EPA says a passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. In fact, a car gets roughly 22 miles per gallon of gas. More than 8,880 grams of carbon dioxide are created for each gallon of fuel it burns.
The strongest antidote to transportation-induced greenhouse gasses is to reduce the number of cars on the road. There are multiple methods to accomplish this, but trains are the single most effective type of mass transportation, due to their environmentally friendly impact, according to Save A Train.
Public transportation helps the environment
Public transportation, particularly trains, is one of the best ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Public transportation directly reduces the number of cars on the road.
Carbon emissions are closely linked to changes to climate conditions, which are worsening each year as a result of more extreme weather events, according to the World Meteorological Association.
Relying more on rail transport can greatly reduce carbon emissions from transportation. Rail transport contributes to only two percent of total carbon emissions, according to U.S. Green Technology.
Trains are the top way to commute
Trains have many benefits over other transportation. They carry more people per mile traveled. Save A Train calculated that a single train line can carry 50K people in an hour, whereas a freeway lane could move only 2,500 people in that time frame and rely on multiple vehicles.
Whether diesel or electric, trains are even more efficient than other means of mass public transportation. “Taking trains or subways is the most eco-friendly way to commute if you’re taking public transportation,” according to U.S. Green Technology.
Trains or subways produce only one-third of carbon dioxide emissions compared to the average passenger vehicle. Less air pollution is a great reason to consider riding the train. Another reason to consider the train is the ability to get you closer to your destination.
High-speed rail is in several major cities
High-speed rail can get people closer to their destination, especially in high traffic congestion metro areas like New York City, Washington, D.C., or San Francisco. Most larger cities have trains. New York has the Metro Transportation Authority subway and Metro-North railroad. Washington has the Metro, Virginia Railway Express, and MARC Train for commuters. San Francisco has BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit).
Utilizing the rails during the busy work week can ensure that you get to work accident-free and are on time.
There are additional larger community-scale benefits to taking a high-speed train as well. The United States has an aging and deteriorating infrastructure. Trains help save on the wear and tear of roads and highways. The Senate included $110 billion alone for roads, bridges, and other improvements in its $1 Trillion 2021 infrastructure bill, according to the N.Y. Times.
In addition to preserving the integrity of the road, utilizing trains can help reduce noise pollution, leading to the deterioration of health. Constant low-level noise from street traffic has been shown to cause stress levels to increase. It also has adverse impacts on cardiovascular health, according to USA Streetsblog.
Public transportation in the form of trains is a much more environmentally friendly way to commute. The use of mass transit in the form of high-speed rails can greatly reduce the impact of CO2 emissions on the environment. Trains also reduce the deterioration of communities’ infrastructure. Furthermore, trains provide personal benefits such as the reduced need for gas and more efficient methods to get to urban jobs. Finally, trains are a great alternative to traveling alone.
Another great benefit about trains is that employees can ride them as part of their commuter benefits package. Commuter benefits allow employees to spend tax-free dollars on commuting costs like rail, subways, rideshares, and more. The employee can pay less in federal taxes because their taxable income decreases. Employees can spend up to $280 tax-free each month.
Commuter benefits are mandatory in several cities and get people to use public transit rather than drive in a solo occupant car for their commute.
Employers can also benefit from commuter benefits. A company’s payroll tax bill is reduced because employees lower their taxable income. When a company has 50 employees in the commuter benefits program, it saves about $24,000 per year on payroll tax payments.
Using commuter benefits for rail transportation is an excellent idea for your employees. Schedule a meeting today, and we’ll be happy to review all your options with you.