Although it has been a part of our lives for more than 150 years, public transportation is one of the key investments to create jobs as we address the new emerging green economy, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) as it released a new report today. With previous research showing public transit’s significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gases, the report, “Economic Impact of Public Transportation Investment,” demonstrates how increased investment in public transportation provides good green jobs, wages and business income in industries that have been particularly hit hard by the economic downturn.
The report found that for every $1 billion invested in public transportation capital and operations, an average of 36,000 jobs are supported. These 36,000 jobs result in roughly $3.6 billion of business sales and generate nearly $500 million in federal, state and local tax revenues.
“By investing in public transportation, the U.S. is able to create immediate green jobs and income through the manufacturing, construction and operation of public transit vehicles,” said APTA President William Millar. “These are the types of jobs needed as we look to ‘green’ the American economy.”
As outlined in the report, short and long term economic benefits result in the effect that for every $1 invested in public transportation, $4 is generated in economic returns. While these are national averages, the results vary depending on local conditions and returns and it can be as high as $9 in economic activity for every $1 invested.
“Public transportation investments offer both short-and long-term benefits to our economy,” notes Glen Weisbrod of Economic Development Research Group, the author of this research effort. “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.”
“A lot of unemployed Americans are hurting right now as the job market continues to retract,” concluded 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 and helps the environment."