Business Group Calls on Congress to Pass Transportation
February 17, 2005
In Adobe PDF Format)
WASHINGTON - Business members of the American Public Transportation
Association (APTA) are here today to announce "We Make Communities Go,"
a campaign to broaden public awareness about the importance of transit in
the American economy and the need for Congress to pass the six-year transportation
funding bill that has been stalled since last summer.
To launch the campaign, business members delivered a letter to Members of
Congress highlighting the link between transit funding and economic growth,
and urging swift passage of the reauthorization of the TEA 21 surface transportation
program. (A copy of the letter to Congress is attached.)
APTA members will be working with community and business groups across the
country to spread that message over the next several months while Congress
debates reauthorization of the transportation spending bill. The campaign
will showcase public transportation's economic contributions at the grassroots
The public transportation industry employs 375,000 workers who operate, maintain
and manage all modes of transit across the United States. In addition to this
direct employment, public transportation supports tens of thousands of other
transit-related jobs in engineering, construction, manufacturing, and retail
and service businesses.
Each year, America's public transportation systems put approximately $37.6
billion back into local, state and national economies. The transit industry
spends $12.8 billion on capital expenditures and $24.8 billion on operating
expenses. Capital funds are used to finance infrastructure needs such as new
construction and modernization of existing facilities -- and nearly all of
that capital investment flows into the private sector.
"Public transportation is an integral part of the American economy,"
said Kim Green, APTA Vice Chair of Business Members.
"Investing in transit creates jobs and spurs new economic activity at
a rate of $6 for every $1 invested," added Green. "If that investment
continues to be delayed, so too does economic growth."
By raising awareness about the economic benefits of transit, APTA's business
members hope the "We Make Communities Go" campaign will accelerate
Congressional approval of a fully-funded transportation reauthorization bill
during this first session of the 109th Congress. The extension of the existing
legislation expires in May 2005.
With the bill languishing, billions of well-invested dollars and thousands
of jobs remain in limbo.
Every dollar taxpayers invest in public transportation
generates up to $6 in economic returns, which translates into higher revenues
for cities and states.
Businesses realize a gain in sales three times the public
sector investment in transit capital. A study by Cambridge Systematics
estimates that each $10 million in capital investment yields $30 million
in increased sales, while each $10 million in operating investment yields
$32 million more in sales.
Businesses also benefit from transit operations spending,
with a $32 million increase in business sales for each $10 million in
transit operations spending.
The additional economic benefits from transit investment
in major metropolitan areas are substantial. For every $10 million invested,
over $15 million is saved in transportation costs to both highway and
transit users. These costs include operating costs, fuel costs, and congestion
Business output and personal income are positively impacted
by transit investment, growing rapidly over time. Public transportation
creates savings to business operations and increases the overall efficiency
of the economy, positively affecting business sales and household incomes.
A sustained program of transit capital investment will generate an increase
of $2 million in business output and $0.8 million in personal income for
each $10 million in the short run (during year one). In the long term
(during year 20), these benefits increase to $31 million and $18 million
for business output and personal income respectively.
Transit capital and operating investment generates personal
income and business profits that produce positive fiscal impacts. On average,
a typical state/local government could realize a 4 to 16 percent gain
in revenues due to the increases in income and employment generated by
investments in transit.
Using transit saves communities and businesses money.
In cities that have large rail systems, residents and businesses see a
total road and parking savings of $20 billion annually as a result of
6.1 million vehicles not being on the roads or in parking garages that
don't need to be built.
Business leaders see the benefits of public transportation.
Almost half of the nation's Fortune 500 companies, representing over $2
trillion in annual revenue, are headquartered in America's transit-intensive
- "Public transportation doesn't just move people; it moves the economy,"
said APTA President William W. Millar. "We must continue to invest
in transit so that we can continue to provide jobs and economic opportunities."
For more information about how public transportation contributes to the American
economy, please visit www.apta.com.
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APTA is a nonprofit international association of more than
1,500 member organizations including public transportation systems; planning,
design, construction and finance firms; product and service providers; academic
institutions, and state associations and departments of transportation. APTA
members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical
public transportation services and products. Over ninety percent of persons
using public transportation in the United States and Canada are served by