Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA)

Nashvillians Can Save $804 a Month by Riding Transit

Nashville residents who ride public transit can save $804 a month according to data released by the Nashville MTA and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA)

The savings calculations are based on the price of regular gasoline in Metro Nashville in August 2014, average fixed costs that include insurance and maintenance, and the city’s most recent average unreserved monthly parking rate.   

On an annual basis, riders in Nashville could save an average of $9,646.  

“With the new school year beginning, parents and students alike are searching for ways to save money.  Riding public transportation is an easy way to achieve this goal,” MTA Director of Communications Patricia Harris-Morehead said.  

Nashville MTA and Metro Schools recently launched the StrIDe student ridership program that allows Metro students enrolled in grades nine through 12 to ride Nashville MTA buses at no cost, which is an additional way to save. 

“We see this initiative as a win-win for everyone involved,” Harris-Morehead added. 

The APTA transit savings report released in August calculated the average monthly savings for public transit users as $10,064 annually and $839 monthly.  The report examines how an individual in a two-person household can save money by taking public transportation and living with one less car. 

The savings amount for Nashville is based on the average cost of parking and driving in Nashville, as well as the August 20 average gas price of $3.45 per gallon of self-serve regular gasoline as reported by AAA’s fuel gauge website. 

Over the course of a year, the average cost to park a vehicle in Nashville amounted to $1,500.  This amount was reported by the 2009 Colliers International Parking Rate Study, which was the last year Collier’s reported on Nashville.  

Nashville residents can ride MTA buses for $1.70 each way or for $3.40 round-trip.  In addition, MTA offers five different cost-efficient, multi-ride passes ranging from one day to 31 days.  Cost for adults is $5.25 for an All-Day Pass, $24 for a 7-Day Pass, $32 for a 20-Ride Local, $42 for a 20-Ride Express and $84 for a 31-Day Pass.  Multi-ride passes also are available for youth, seniors and people with disabilities.  


APTA calculates the average cost of taking public transit by determining the cost of the average monthly transit pass of local public transit agencies across the country.  This information is based on the annual APTA fare collection survey and is weighted based on ridership (unlinked passenger trips). The assumption is that a person making a switch to public transportation would likely purchase an unlimited pass on the local public transit agency, typically available on a monthly basis. 

APTA then compares the average monthly transit fare to the average cost of driving.  The cost of driving is calculated using the 2013 AAA average cost of driving formula.  That formula is based on variable and fixed costs.  The variable costs include the cost of gas, maintenance and tires.  The fixed costs include insurance, license, registration, depreciation and finance charges.  The comparison also uses the average mileage of a mid-size auto at 23.1 miles per gallon and the price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline as recorded by AAA at $3.47 per gallon in August. The analysis also assumes that a person will drive an average of 15,000 miles per year.  The savings are based on the assumption that a person in a two-person household lives with one less car.  

In determining the cost of parking, APTA uses the data from the 2012 Colliers International Parking Rate Study for monthly unreserved parking rates for the United States.