In response to escalating gas prices, the City of Santa Monica Big Blue Bus is joining with other public transportation agencies across the U.S. on Thursday, June 8th, for National Dump the Pump Day.

The day will be dedicated to raising awareness about the benefits of using public transportation to beat high gas prices.

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA), a nonprofit association of more than 1,600 member organizations including almost 400 public transit agencies, is sponsoring National Dump the Pump Day.

“Using public transit is by far the easiest way to get around town affordably,” said Stephanie Negriff, director of Big Blue Bus transit services.

“We hope the increased attention will attract people who haven’t ridden public transit before and also people who have been considering alternating driving with taking transit.”

Negriff invited city and other public officials to show their support of public transportation by riding an area bus or rail line on June 8th.

After housing, transportation has become the second highest cost for American families, outpacing both food and healthcare costs. Since January 2003, gas prices have increased by 100 percent.

“People use public transit more frequently when the cost of gas rises,” said APTA president William Millar.

“National Dump the Pump Day will highlight that. By using public transit, people can beat high gas prices, help reduce traffic congestion, and assist our country in beating our oil addiction.”

To commemorate National Dump the Pump Day and encourage transit ridership, Big Blue Bus drivers will hand out special “I Dumped the Pump” stickers.

Information on Big Blue Bus fares, destinations, routes, links to other transit agencies, and other rider services can be found on the Web site at www.bigbluebus.com

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