WASHINGTON, DC – A new study released today shows that investing in public transportation provides jobs to the American workers who may need them the most. Job Impacts of Spending on Public Transportation: an Update shows that two-thirds (67 percent) of the jobs created by capital investment in the public transit industry replaces lost blue-collar jobs with “green jobs” in the public transit sector. The Economic Development Research Group prepared the study for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
Overall, the study shows an investment of one billion dollars in public transportation supports and creates 30,000 jobs in a variety of sectors. Based on these projections, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which provides $8.4 billion for public transportation projects, will create approximately 252,000 jobs for Americans and help transit systems meet the steadily growing demand for public transit services. APTA released the study at the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing Recovery Act: 10-Week Progress Report for Transportation and Infrastructure Programs.
“The ultimate goal in any economic recovery plan should be to not create just any type of job, but rather to invest in and focus on areas particularly hit hard by the economic downturn,” said William W. Millar, APTA president. “The investment in public transit not only produces green jobs but also provides for a more sustainable transportation system that will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and lessen the transportation sector’s impact on the environment.”
The study reveals that two out of three (67 percent) of these new construction and manufacturing “green jobs” resulting from public transit capital investment typically fall in the category of Blue-Collar Semi-Skilled (59 percent) and Blue-Collar Skilled (8 percent). These jobs include positions in manufacturing, service, repair worker, drivers, crew, ticket agents and construction.
In addition, 33 percent of the new jobs as a result of public transit investment fall in the White-Collar Skilled (32 percent) or White Collar Semi-Skilled (1 percent) category. These jobs include clerical, managerial and technical engineers.
In his testimony, J. Barry Barker, APTA vice-chair of government affairs and executive director of the Transit Authority of River City in Louisville, KY, discussed how the funds from the Recovery Act impacted his agency and the Louisville region. He noted it resulted in the construction of an environmentally-friendly maintenance annex; acquisition of ten hybrid buses; re-roofing of a 200,000 square foot bus barn; construction of a 1200-kilowatt emergency generation facility and important preventative maintenance activities.
“This is yet another example of how investing in public transportation is good for the economy, good for Americans, and good for the country,” said Barker. “While public transportation has an answer for many of the challenges facing America today – perhaps none are more urgent than its ability to put people back to work with good, green jobs.”
To view the full report click here.
Note to reporters and editors: APTA can provide specific examples of business and transit system members who can discuss impacts of recent public transit investment from the ARRA.