“On behalf of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and its 1,500 members across the country, I applaud President Obama for highlighting the connection between American jobs and transportation infrastructure investment in his State of the Union speech. President Obama's call to undertake fix-it first projects for aging infrastructure, as well as invest in high-speed rail, underscores the critical importance of transportation. Clearly, transportation is the backbone of a thriving economy that is essential to ensuring that the United States is globally competitive.
President Obama’s emphasis on transportation infrastructure reminds us of the past infrastructure projects that made America great from New York City’s Grand Central Terminal that is celebrating its 100 birthday this year, to the Transcontinental Railroad that was started under President Lincoln. This generation of Americans must take up the challenge to make sure that America continues to be the land of economic opportunity. Now is the time to look to the future, to ensure that America maintains its global competitiveness and its position as the country of economic opportunity.
Public transportation has an important role to play in promoting a prosperous and growing economy. The public transportation industry is a $57 billion industry with nearly 400,000 employees. For every $1 billion invested in public transportation, 36,000 jobs are created and supported, not just at public transit systems, but also in businesses in the public transit supply sector. Additionally, not only does investment in public transportation create and support American jobs, it also provides access to jobs. Nearly 60 percent of the trips taken on public transportation are taken for work commutes.
Additionally, President Obama also spoke of the need for the United States to become energy independent. Public transportation also helps in this endeavor as every year, U.S. public transportation saves 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline.
APTA’s members stand ready to work with the Administration and Congress to increase economic opportunity in our great country and to help our nation’s economy recover through transportation infrastructure investment.
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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.