The Current Situation
Public transportation’s infrastructure woes are well documented. The 2015 Conditions and Performance Report produced by the U.S. Department of Transportation, estimated the overall State of Good Repair backlog to be at $89.9 billion and growing. More than $50 billion in backlog exists just with the seven largest transit systems.
Why Modernization Matters
The connection between asset condition and asset performance is clear. Systems in poorer condition have higher maintenance costs and more frequent breakdowns. Assets that have to be replaced unexpectedly can cause disruption to travelers. This translates into delays and service reductions, which result in travel time cost increases for passengers.
Case studies clearly demonstrate that a regional economy can experience millions of dollars in losses (from lost revenue and repair costs) if unanticipated events strike a major transit system in less than a state of good repair. As cities throughout America compete to attract or retain key occupations and businesses, the condition and quality of public transit infrastructure plays a growing role in what makes a thriving regional economy.
This report details how the following six public transit agencies are exploring and coping with their current SGR issues.
- San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)
- Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)
- Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)
- Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA)
- Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA)
- Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)
The Consequences of Not Investing in Modernization
Our failure to adequately invest in public transportation infrastructure holds back America’s economy. Absent of increased investment, the country would see $340 billion less in cumulative business sales over the next six years. This translates to a loss of $180 billion in cumulative gross national product (GNP) and a loss of $109 billion in household income. This equates to over 160,000 fewer jobs. These losses are a product of decreases in efficiency and productivity from public transit delays and disruptions. In contrast, the economy benefits when transit operators can devote resources toward expanding and modernizing service in response to emerging growth.