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Public Transit Return on Investment: Both Immediate and Long-Lasting

November 3, 2009

APTA_LogoFrom APTA – Increased investment in public transportation provides jobs, wages, and business income in industries that have been particularly hard hit by the economic downturn, according to a report released Oct. 22 by APTA. The report, Economic Impact of Public Transportation Investment, finds that every $1 of investment in public transportation returns many times its investment. The average return is almost four times the investment in economic returns. In some areas of the nation this figure could be as high as $9.

In addition, every $1 billion invested in public transportation results in $3.6 billion in business sales and generates nearly $500 million in federal, state, and local tax revenues.

“A lot of unemployed Americans are hurting right now as the job market continues to retract,” said APTA President William Millar. “If we act now to include funding for public transportation in the climate change legislation and move quickly on transportation authorization, it can result in creating and supporting millions of jobs over the next six years and beyond. This report shows that investment in public transit puts Americans back to work in good, green transportation jobs, boosts the GDP [Gross Domestic Product], and helps the environment.”

Glen Weisbrod of Economic Development Research Group, which prepared the report, agreed. “This investment not only brings an immediate economic impact on job creation and business sales, but it also provides the long-term benefit of improving our nation’s transportation system, which in turn improves the efficiency of our economy,” he said.


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