The transportation sector is now the largest greenhouse gas emitting sector. Moving to cleaner fuel sources can help reduce emissions, and can be a key component of a region’s Climate Action Plan. A dramatic shift has been occurring in the makeup of transit bus fleets, with over 17 percent of the fleet electric/hybrid in 2016. While capital costs remain higher than traditional buses, lifetime costs of battery electric buses have been shown to be lower than other fuel options with additional positive externalities. Transit agencies across the country have been taking bold steps in pursuing alternative fuel transit vehicles, with help from state and federal grant programs.
The Transformation of the American Commuter - December 2018
The American commuter is no longer required to settle for private automobiles as their main way of getting around.
More than three in four Americans (77%) see public transit as the backbone of a multi-transit lifestyle that includes current and future technologies such as ride-hailing (e.g. companies like Uber and Lyft), bikesharing, carsharing, autonomous vehicles (AVs) and other emerging technologies, according our new study.
Public Transit Is Key Strategy in Advancing Vision Zero, Eliminating Traffic Fatalities
- August 2018As the movement toward Vision Zero grows – with more than 30 U.S. communities committing to the goal of zero traffic deaths – public transit is increasingly recognized as a core strategy to support safe mobility for all. Public transportation is one of the safest ways to travel. It is ten times safer per mile than traveling by car because it has less than a tenth the per-mile traffic casualty (injury or death) rate as automobile travel.
The Benefits of Reliable Federal Funding for Public Transportation - July 2018There is a bipartisan consensus that the United States is falling behind its global competitors on the condition of our infrastructure. Policies addressing the current lack of investment would have the potential to generate economic growth and enhance productivity. Guaranteed annual funding provides benefits that nonguaranteed funds do not, from spurring innovation and job creation to getting more “bang” for the federal buck. This paper examines guaranteed transit funding specifically and concludes that this type of infrastructure spending provides numerous benefits.
The Economic Cost of Failing to Modernize Public Transportation - May 2018
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. The economy benefits when transit operators can devote resources toward expanding and modernizing service in response to emerging growth.
Understanding Recent Ridership Changes - March 2018
APTA’s Policy Research Team has identified four major factors causing public transportation ridership declines, and the steps agencies can take to mitigate those factors and positively impact ridership. This paper is available only to APTA members.
The Business Case for Infrastructure Investment
- March 2018
Demand for public transportation continues to grow, which will require both private support as well as federal government investment. Further, much of the innovation in transportation emanates from private sector, venture capital-backed support of “smart” cities through technology. Public transit is so popular at the state and local levels that since 2000, the average success rate of transit ballot measures is 71 percent. The regions with the best mobility networks continue to grow. Why not make your business part of this growth?
Public Transportation's Impact on Rural and Small Towns - October 2017
While it is sometimes assumed that public transportation is only essential for large urban areas with significant traffic congestion, this report shows that public transportation can also play an important role in rural areas and small towns. Although public transit serves a minor portion of total rural travel, the trips that are provided are particularly valuable.
Framework for Assessing the Return on Investment from High-Speed and Intercity Rail Projects - September 2017
This report reviews 47 prior studies that have assessed benefits, costs, economic impacts and/or social impacts of High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail (HS&IPR) proposals. The review shows consensus that HS&IPR can have broad societal benefits that go far beyond time and cost for users. There is, however, a lack of consistency regarding coverage of alternative travel modes, breadth of study areas and time periods, and the set of wider societal benefits that are covered. This report provides a guide to developing a comprehensive study of the potential impacts of proposed HS&IPR projects.
Fair Treatment: Commuters and Tax Reform - May 2017Changes to the tax code are possible with the election of a new administration and new members of Congress. Embedded in the code is a transportation fringe benefit that has positively impacted public transit agencies, employers, commuters, government and the environment. The program has yielded numerous positive outcomes, and continuation of this fringe benefit is advisable
Economic Implications from Proposed Public Transportation Capital Funding Cuts - April 2017
Public Transportation: Major Economic Contributor as Part of Infrastructure Proposal - March 2017
The Administration’s proposed funding cuts for transit capital projects would jeopardize $38 billion of planned projects that would provide 500,000 hard hat jobs and an additional 300,000 long-term jobs from productivity benefits. These cuts would have a negative impact on GDP of $45 billion over 10 years.
Who Rides Public Transportation - March 2017
Public transit riders are part of the engine that powers America’s economy, with 87% of public transit trips directly impacting the economy through connecting people to employers needing workers and to retail and entertainment venues. Seventy-one percent of public transportation riders across the country are employed, and another 7% are students. This study, authored by the CJI Research Corporation, is the most extensive demographic report of public transit riders ever, with nearly 700,000 passenger surveys.
The Hidden Traffic Safety Solution: Public Transportation - September 2016
The most effective life-saving traffic safety tool for a commuter and a community may be the daily metro transit pass. A person can reduce his or her chance of being in an accident by more than 90 percent simply by taking public transit as opposed to commuting by car. This means traveling by public transportation is ten times safer per mile than traveling by auto. Transit-oriented communities are five times safer than automobile-oriented communities. This means public transit cuts a community’s crash risk in half even for those who do not use public transit. Public transportation communities spur compact development which reduces auto miles traveled and produces safer speeds.
Technology is transforming transportation. The ability to conveniently request, track, and pay for trips via mobile devices is changing the way people get around and interact with cities. This report examines the relationship of public transportation to shared modes, including bikesharing, carsharing, and ridesourcing services provided by companies such as Uber and Lyft. This research shows that the more people use shared modes, the more likely they are to use public transit, own fewer cars, and spend less on transportation overall.
Public Transportation's Role in the Knowledge Economy - March 2016
This groundbreaking study shows that planned public transportation investments will yield a 2 to 1 return while helping to generate income for local businesses, its workers and their neighborhoods. In fact, this investment will yield more than $174 billion in business sales in the three cites examined. Our study authors examined the emerging tech sectors in Silicon Beach, CA; Austin, TX; and Durham, NC and looked at public transportation’s emerging role in enhancing access to employees and promoting critical entrepreneurial infrastructure.
Open for Business: The Business Case for Investment in Public Transportation - March 2016
Mobility in the United States is undergoing an evolution, driving new partnerships and challenging the traditional boundary between public and private realms. In fact, much of the innovation in transportation is coming from private sector, venture capital-backed support of smarter cities through technology. Though viewed as a primarily public-sector function, public transportation is proving to be the backbone of the multimodal, on-demand economy that private sector innovation is driving today.
2015 APTA Annual Report - November 2015
APTA's 2015 Annual Report highlights the association's many efforts throughout the year, including communication, legislative, and advocacy efforts, as well as conferences, standards development, workforce development, and other activities.
2015 APTA Public Transportation Fact Book - November 2015
The Public Transportation Fact Book, published annually, contains national aggregate statistical data covering all aspects of the transit industry in the United States and Canada.
The Impact of Raising Insurance Liability Caps - October 2015
This paper examines the consequences of increasing the $200 million cap on passenger liability claims for passenger railroads, as proposed by the DRIVE Act.
2015 APTA High-Speed Train Survey - September 2015
In a survey conducted by TechnoMetrica for APTA, two-thirds (63 percent) of Americans are likely to use high-speed trains if high-speed rail were available today. This jumps to nearly seventy (67) percent when respondents were informed of the costs and time saving benefits of high-speed rail service. Accompanying infographic
Update on Public Transportation Agencies Providing Real-Time Data - August 2015
Adoption of real-time information technology continues at a rapid pace, according to new information from APTA's 2014 Public Transportation Infrastructure Database
Value Capture for Public Transportation Projects: Examples - August 2015
Public transportation projects can benefit when increased tax revenue generated by those projects is directed to fund them.
This report shows why public transportation is an attractive market for both public and private investment. The public transportation industry is supported by growing demand, and bolstered by long-term demographic and consumer preference shifts.
An Analysis of Bus Axle Weight Issues - November 2014
This report provides information to help decision‐makers identify options to reduce bus weight, mitigate the negative impacts of transit buses exceeding weight limits, and address competing regulations in this area.
Procurement Handbook: A Guide for Transit Industry Executives
Procurement has become an integral part of every public transportation agency’s overall business strategy. This Handbook provides transit executives with an understanding of fundamental procurement principles. Issues include roles and responsibilities, planning, contract essentials, compliance, and how to avoid problems. The document can be printed or used as an online tool by clicking on topics of interest on the Contents page.