Dump the Pump in our area? It’s still possible
Today is the ninth annual Dump the Pump Day. Readers might be more familiar with it if they lived within walking distance of public transportation that has waived fares the previous eight Dump the Pump days.
Not that it isn’t a good idea. The Ohio Environmental Council has good reasons to urge people to “park your car and walk, bike, roll or bus to work.” Among them: “Safely call and text. Save money. Help clean the air. Relieve highway congestion. And leave the driving to someone else.”
In congested urban areas, that makes sense. It’s just not convenient for many people in more rural areas.
Imagine the New Riegel resident heading to work in Tiffin on foot. That’s not a walk, that’s a hike. Bicycling is an alternative, too, but a 15-mile commute could take an hour.
But the American Public Transportation Association reports a two-person household that downsizes to one vehicle can save an average of $10,174 per year. While that may be quite a feat for area residents, cutting down on driving still is possible.
Areavibes.com claims nearly 10 percent of workers in Seneca County carpool. Just as many take public transportation, walk to work or telecommute.
Their numbers used to be higher, according to National Health File. In 1980, 4,165 county residents age 16 and older carpooled. By 1990, that dropped to 2,797, then dipped again to 2,617 by the end of the millenium.
The loss of the major employers likely contributed to that early decline in ride sharing. But work schedules and locations may yet be conducive to carpooling. All one needs to do is check with coworkers and neighbors.
Of course, riding a bike or walking still may be an option. Just remember, today’s forecast calls for a 50 percent chance of storms.