Peoples’ stomachs won’t be the only things bursting at the seams this Thanksgiving. The average daily T rider will also have a full wallet.
A report released this week by a national transportation agency showed that by skipping out on driving a car, and purchasing a monthly pass, the MBTA saves customers thousands of dollars annually, giving them more cash to spend on holiday shopping.
According to the November Transit Savings Report from the American Public Transportation Association, individuals who ride public transportation instead of getting behind the wheel can save, on average, $816 a month, and $9,798 annually.
For MBTA riders, those numbers are even higher.
The November study revealed that T travelers saved an average of $1,069 this month, and will pocket an extra $12,834 this year that would have otherwise been wasted on a parking spaces and gas for a car.
Boston transportation users also came in third for most money saved annually on a list of the top 20 major cities with the highest public transit ridership, the report said.
The Hub fell just behind New York City and San Francisco.
The savings were calculated by collecting the cost of commuting by public transportation compared to the cost of owning and driving a vehicle, which includes the November 19, 2012 average national gas price and the national unreserved monthly parking rate in each respective city.
Other cost factors, such as variable and fixed costs of gas, maintenance and tires, as well as insurance, license registration, depreciation and finance charges, were used to gauge the averages.
Of course, that saved money doesn’t make the T’s troubles go away. There are still broken down trains, late buses, and unpleasant passengers. But riders should be thankful for those things this holiday season, because without them, you would have nothing to gripe about with your family as you feast on some turkey, and nothing to tweet about while you wait for your ride on the way to your hometown.
As the MBTA works to improve its ailing infrastructure, officials continue to tell passengers that it is facing yet another deficit this fiscal year, which could require additional service cuts and fare increases if a long-term solution isn’t figured out for the transportation system. In the meantime, the T will continue to find other ways to raise some non-fare revenue, such as new advertising opportunities, as ridership keeps growing.