CHICAGO (CBS) – A study shows that Chicago area commuters are saving gas and money by riding Metra trains.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a group called Environment Illinois found commuters saved nearly 35 million gallons of gas by riding Metra in 2008. That’s the amount of gas used by 61,000 cars.

The report also found that area residents who used public transportation saved as much as $11,611 by avoiding the costs of owning, parking and filling up a motor vehicle.

The group encouraged federal and state lawmakers to weigh policies that would benefit public transit systems, and increase state funding to Metra and other public transit agencies, the Sun-Times reported.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Watch & Listen LIVE