Every segment of American society—-individuals, families, communities, and businesses—benefits from public transportation. It is a lifeline for millions of Americans connecting them to people, places and possibilities. It also builds thriving communities, creates jobs, eases traffic congestion and promotes a cleaner environment. Investment in public transportation spurs both local and the national economy.

Public Transportation Consists of a Variety of Modes

  • Buses
  • Light rail
  • Subways
  • Commuter trains
  • Streetcars and trolleys
  • Cable cars
  • Van pool services
  • Ferries and water taxis
  • Paratransit services for senior citizens and people with disabilities
  • Monorails and tramways

Quick Facts

Public Transportation Provides Economic Opportunities

Public Transportation Is a Safer Way to Travel Than by Automobile

  • Traveling by public transportation is 10 times safer per mile than traveling by automobile.
  • A person can reduce his or her chance of being in an accident by more than 90% simply by taking public transit as opposed to commuting by car.

Public Transportation Saves Money

  • T​he average household spends 16 cents of every dollar on transportation, and 93% of this goes to buying, maintaining, and operating cars, the largest expenditure after housing.
  • A household can save more than $13,000 by taking public transportation and living with one less car.

Public Transportation Reduces Gasoline Consumption

Public Transportation Reduces Carbon Footprint

Public Transportation Enhances Personal Opportunities

For more public transportation facts, see the Public Transportation Fact Book or APTA’s full research library.

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