American Public Transportation Association
 
American Public Transportation Association
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 Transit News

 1/20/2011

Contact:

Virginia Miller
(202) 496-4824
vmiller@apta.com

 Public Transportation Relieves Traffic Congestion

 

TTI Report Says Without Public Transit, Travelers Would Have Suffered an
Additional 785 Million Hours of Delay on our Nation’s Roads

The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) today released its highly regarded congestion report, 2010 Urban Mobility Report, which looked at road congestion in 439 United States urban areas. As in past years, the data overwhelmingly shows the importance of public transportation in relieving congestion. In fact, the report’s improved methodology indicates that public transportation has an even greater role in reducing congestion than previously thought.

The 2010 Urban Mobility Report makes clear that without public transportation services, travelers would have suffered an additional 785 million hours of delay and consumed 640 million more gallons of fuel. Had there been no public transportation service available in the 439 urban areas studied, congestion costs for 2009 would have risen by nearly $19 billion from $115 to $134 billion. (See the table below for the top 36 urban areas.)

“There is no doubt that expanding public transportation use is key to reducing traffic congestion,” said American Public Transportation Association (APTA) President William Millar. “Clearly, even if you don’t ride public transportation, it is still in your best interest to support investment in public transit. Better public transportation in your community means less congestion on the roads.”

Pointing out that the surface transportation authorization legislation has not yet been enacted by Congress, Millar said, “Reducing traffic congestion is one of many reasons why the 112th Congress needs to move on passing a well-funded, multi-year, surface transportation authorization bill. Each passing day means a delay in addressing congestion problems which impact individuals and undermine business productivity.”

In addition to its proven record of reducing congestion, public transportation offers economic benefits. Public transportation plays an important role in helping people commute to work; nearly 60 percent of all trips on public transportation involve travel to and from job sites. Also, every $1 billion invested in public transportation creates and supports 36,000 jobs.

U.S. public transportation use also produces significant energy-savings benefits. Each year 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline are saved because our citizens use public transportation.

“This report offers compelling evidence of the importance of investing in public transportation,” said Millar. “Now is the time for Congress to pass a long-term authorization bill that will help reduce the problem of urban road congestion through a greater investment in public transportation.”

The urban areas listed below had the highest savings in hours of delay due to public transportation use in 2009. Also, included in the following table are congestion cost savings from public transportation use (the total for both the cost of hours of delay saved and gallons of fuel saved).

To see the 2010 Urban Mobility Report, go to http://mobility.tamu.edu/ums/

 

Hours
of Delay Rank

Urban Area Savings from Public Transportation Use
Hours of Delay Saved Gallons of Fuel Saved Congestion
Cost Savings
1 New York-Newark NY-NJ-CT 368,062,189 267,205,900 8,810,307,584
2 Chicago IL-IN 92,506,568 82,323,700 2,351,660,815
3 Washington DC-VA-MD 34,119,772 24,150,500 766,572,738
4 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana CA 33,187,437 13,766,600 773,174,258
5 Boston MA-NH-RI 32,885,168 23,597,800 745,480,195
6 San Francisco-Oakland CA 28,659,672 21,895,500 660,427,073
7 Philadelphia PA-NJ-DE-MD 26,377,522 18,954,700 633,001,381
8 Seattle WA 14,152,702 9,886,300 346,505,237
9 Baltimore MD 13,226,896 11,104,600 323,183,010
10 Miami FL 9,356,439 5,550,200 217,166,239
11 Atlanta GA 8,314,827 5,850,500 201,978,800
12 Houston TX 6,662,608 3,291,800 157,120,594
13 San Diego CA 6,286,157 5,083,600 147,963,306
14 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington TX 5,989,276 4,803,800 136,888,951
15 Denver-Aurora CO 5,931,164 4,604,600 134,956,494
16 San Juan PR 5,716,642 3,689,100 137,359,320
17 Portland OR-WA 5,422,218 4,129,500 128,088,528
18 Minneapolis-St. Paul MN 5,058,607 3,974,600 115,350,086
19 Pittsburgh PA 4,890,217 4,031,700 118,813,888
20 Salt Lake City UT 3,325,441 2,677,500 73,450,684
21 St. Louis MO-IL 2,908,957 2,696,500 73,831,596
22 Phoenix AZ 2,474,469 2,123,800 66,517,309
23 Cleveland OH 2,144,675 1,721,500 47,977,648
24 Detroit MI 1,946,798 1,304,600 44,955,358
25 Austin TX 1,892,698 1,437,400 43,203,738
26 San Jose CA 1,872,224 1,499,200 41,459,814
27 New Orleans LA 1,815,482 1,375,500 46,695,436
28 Milwaukee WI 1,670,005 1,336,500 39,476,376
29 Las Vegas NV 1,446,575 1,171,200 32,367,935
30 Orlando FL 1,432,316 990,000 35,163,216
31 San Antonio TX 1,331,216 1,210,900 30,018,975
32 Sacramento CA 1,314,085 903,700 30,980,875
33 Virginia Beach VA 1,191,165 844,700 25,411,474
34 Cincinnati OH-KY-IN 1,152,262 890,200 28,279,860
35 Riverside-San Bernardino CA 1,088,144 455,400 27,225,618
36 Tampa-St. Petersburg FL 1,041,343 676,800 23,835,882

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 The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products.  More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.

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