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MISSOULA - With high gas prices on everyone's mind, Mountain Line announced Monday it will join with other public transportation systems nationwide to participate in the third annual national Dump the Pump Day Thursday.

Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association, the event encourages people to ride public transportation to save money, conserve gasoline and help reduce greenhouse gases.

Statistics show that households with two workers and one car that use public transportation save $6,200 every year compared to a household with no access to public transportation.

According to a new study prepared by ICF International called Broadening the Connection between Public Transportation and Energy Conservation, public transportation reduces U.S. carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually, equivalent to the electricity used by 4.9 million households.

All Mountain Line buses run on Bio Diesel.

"By participating in Dump the Pump Day, we hope people who have never used Mountain Line will decide to give us a try instead of driving their car," said Steve Earle, Mountain Line general manager. "We will welcome new riders and thank our regular riders as we offer free rides on National Dump the Pump Day."

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