National Dump the Pump Day

<p>People waiting for Yakima Transit bus</p>

People waiting for Yakima Transit bus

If you've seen less cars on the road today, it might be because today is National Dump the Pump Day.

More than 100 public transit systems across the country are particpating, including Ben Franklin Transit. 

The Ben Franklin Transit system is encouraging everyone in the Tri-Cities to leave their cars at home and instead take the bus to get around.

Tri-City riders say public transportation is a money saver.

"I could buy a $25 bus pass that could last me all month, as opposed to that lasting me a week in a car for gas," says bus rider Maria Gurrola.

A savings report by the American Public Transit Association shows hoseholds can save nearly $10,000 per year when they "dump the pump."

The APTA started the unofficial holiday in 2006 when gas prices reached a national average of $3 per gallon.

More than 10 billion trips were taken on public transportation last year.

That's the second highest ridership number since 1957.

"We want to encourage people to think of other alternatives to their transportation needs. Just hope on the bus and take a ride, it's really very easy. We have about 20 routes all over the Tri-Cities and it's a very inexpensive way to travel," says Christy Watts of Ben Franklin Transit.

According to, the state average is $3.78, with the national average currently at $3.59.

Ben Franklin Transit serves about 12,000 riders everyday and it should know within a few days if it got the anticipated bump in ridership it was seeking today.