Washington, DC - A study released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) noted that seventy-four percent of private sector businesses serving the public transit industry incurred flat or declining business over the past year due to uncertainty in federal investment, a down economy and a lack of investment on the state and local level. Of those reporting a decrease in business, the average decrease was 25 percent.
The study “Impacts of the Recession on Public Transportation Businesses” reached out to APTA private sector business members serving the public transportation industry and revealed that fifty-six percent say they lost business from their public transportation clients and 52 percent of businesses say they expect to lay-off employees or cut back hiring as a result. Seventeen percent say they may have to shift operations and business development to other countries.
“This is further evidence that tells us now is the time to invest in our public transit infrastructure to create jobs and boost our economy,” said William Millar, APTA President. “Cutting money to public transit systems simply means the loss of jobs and most of which are in the private sector.”
Currently, there is a proposal in the U.S. House of Representatives to further cut federal investment in public transportation by more than 35 percent. According to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, these proposed cuts could lead to the loss of 141,000 jobs.
Seventy-four percent list uncertainty due to delay in federal authorization as having a negative impact on business revenue and two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents name the current weakness of the U.S. economy as having a negative effect on their business revenue and One respondent to the survey goes as far as to say “It is one thing to make cuts, see their magnitude and make business adjustments. It is a completely different story when even the cuts are up in the air --- nothing can be planned for!”
The “Impacts of the Recession on Public Transportation Business” surveyed 800 of APTA’s business members with an above average response rate of 16 percent and was conducted in the spring of 2011.
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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private member organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada are served by APTA member systems.