This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

The Public Interest Research Group and its state subsidiaries (WashPIRG here in WA) have released a fantastic report on the benefits of mass transit:

-In 2006, transit saved an estimated 3.4 billion gallons of gasoline in the United States—enough to fuel 5.8 million cars for a year. In monetary terms, transit saved more than $9 billion that would otherwise have been spent on gasoline.

-In 2005, transit prevented 540.8 million hours of traffic delay, according to the Texas Transportation Institute, equivalent to more than 61,700 people sitting in traffic for an entire year. The monetary value of those savings was $10.2 billion.

-Transit reduced global warming emissions by nearly 26 million metric tons in 2006. In New York state alone, transit avoided 11.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution—more than was produced by the entire economies of Rhode Island, Vermont or the District of Columbia.

And now we’ve got Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) using the study to call for in increase in mass transit funding. Locally, WashPIRG has put out a sister report focusing on Washington State.

Via TOW, who’s pulled a nice graph showing that the LA Metro, of all places, has actually saved more gasoline than any other transit system. It makes perfect sense, when you think about it.