Feeling the pinch from high gas prices? Take transit

Feeling the pinch from high gas prices? Take transit

Apr 8, 2022

Are rising gas prices and inflation hurting your budget? Consider transit as a way to save

Gas prices are skyrocketing across the U.S. amid disruptions to the global energy market. Friday’s average gas price in Snohomish County was a whopping $4.79 per gallon. At that price, filling an average 18.5-gallon tank is around $90. 

And budgeting for gas isn’t the only challenge people are facing. Everyday expenses are soaring. Consumer prices jumped 7.9% in February, the steepest year-over-year increase in 40 years.

When gas prices have risen in the past, so has the number of people taking public transit — and with good reason. When you take transit, the cost of your trip remains the same, regardless of fuel costs. Stretch your budget even further by only paying for your trips when you take them. Budgeting is easy with fixed prices and affordable trips across our region. And when you take transit, you avoid parking fees, car maintenance expenses, and toll lanes.

Rising gas pricesPlus, you may have an employee benefit to help you save even more. Many local employers provide free ORCA cards to cover some or all of your bus fare. Check with your employer to see if they provide this handy benefit. Want to build a case for your own office to offer ORCA passes? Check out ORCA for business resources.

If you’re paying with an ORCA card, your bus fare takes you farther. Your ORCA card can cover longer trips and more destinations, with a two-hour credit when you transfer. ORCA can be used on the light rail, ferries, the Sounder train, or buses in our regional network. 

And beginning this spring, the new myORCA app and website will make managing your ORCA account even easier. ORCA will also add more retail locations where you can buy and reload ORCA cards.

If taking the bus doesn’t fit your needs, check out our Vanpool Program, which provides safe, reliable vans so groups can commute together. Many employers will also subsidize the cost of a vanpool. Use our cost-estimator tool to see how much you can save on your commute. 

And you can always feel good about taking transit. Research shows that every $1 invested in public transportation generates $5 in economic returns. Taking public transit is an investment in your community. Public transit eases traffic congestion, promotes a cleaner environment, connects employees to jobs and shoppers to businesses, and creates local jobs.

Price comparison

For an adult commuter driving to Seattle from Snohomish County five days each week, check out the difference between a monthly ORCA transit pass and driving by car.

Commuting with transit

ORCA Monthly Pass: $153
Unlimited rides at $4.25 per-trip value which covers all Community Transit routes. Your transfer with ORCA includes trips where a rider switches from bus to light rail or another bus.
Total: $153 

Commuting by car

Three full tanks of gas: $270
Monthly parking pass: $200
Added monthly car maintenance expenses: $60
Total: $530

Total monthly savings taking transit: $377

You can also use check out our Vanpool Program to learn about commuting to work in a shared vanpool group. Use our fare calculator to see what you’d pay.