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American Public Transportation Association

 Policy & Planning

  • The Benefits of Reliable Federal Funding for Public Transportation​ - July 2018
    ​There 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.​
  • Millennials & Mobility: Understanding the Millennial Mindset - October 2013
    The Millennial Generation, those born between 1982 and 2003, is the largest and most diverse generation in American history. They are also living through times of economic dislocation and technological change. Recent research shows that rates of driving are down, and Millennials are leading the trend. This report seeks to further understand the mindsets behind these trends and understand their implications for public transportation in the United States, utilizing a mixture of in-depth interviews and a survey of 1,000 people in six cities that are representative of the types of cities Millennials find attractive.
  • The New Real Estate Mantra - March 2013
    This paper shows that average sales prices for residences near public transportation were more resilent during the Great Recession than their respective regions as a whole.
  • Economic Recovery: Promoting Growth - March 2012
    This white paper focuses on the many economic benefits derived from public transportation. Members are encouraged to use this document when reaching out to their legislators.
  • Rural Communities: Expanding Horizons - March 2012
    This white paper details the need for investment in public transportation in small urban and rural areas throughout the nation. Members are encouraged to use this document when reaching out to their legislators.
  • Public Transportation Fare Database
    An annual report of major elements of fare structures by mode for U.S. and Canadian transit agencies. The report includes fixed-route adult base fares, surcharges, common fare payment options, special categorized passenger fares, and demand response (or Paratransit) passenger fares.
  • Public Transportation Infrastructure Database
    A report, published every other year, listing major transit infrastructure in the U.S. and Canada. The report includes rail line data and station, stop and parking data for all modes. The database also includes status, mileage, and opening dates of future rail projects.
  • Surface Transportation: The Case for Growth - 2011
    This paper by the Free Congress Foundation Center for Transportation reviews the history and background of the development of our surface transportation system, and the salient issues surrounding investment in the system, and offers some brief policy conclusions.
  • Regional Organizational Models for Public Transportation - January 2011
    This study examines the processes of governance transformation that have been employed to respond to the opportunities for and challenges to providing regional public transportation. Case studies of eight regions of various sizes and providing geographic diversity across the U.S. provide insights into the impetus for governance transformation, the direction of the changes being implemented, and the mechanism(s) for change, as well as accomplishments, lessons learned and ongoing challenges.
  • Evaluating Public Transportation Health Benefits - June 2010
    This report by Todd Litman investigates ways that public transportation affects human health, and ways to incorporate these impacts into transport policy and planning decisions. This research indicates that public transit improvements and more transit oriented development can provide large but often overlooked health benefits.
  • Funding the Public Transportation Needs of an Aging Population -- March 2010
    Analysis Tool in Excel for the Funding the Public Transportation Needs of an Aging Population report.
  • 2010-2014 APTA Strategic Plan (members only)
    APTA’s vision is to be the leading force in advancing public transportation. The 2010-2014 Strategic Plan will guide APTA’s activities and assess its performance over the next five years. The plan reflects the needs and priorities as expressed by APTA’s diverse membership and builds on the Association’s past success in partnering with transportation and non-transportation advocacy groups to the benefit of public transportation.
  • The Benefits of TEA 21 Funding Guarantees
  • Good Urban Transit: A Conservative Model - February 2009
    This report by Paul M. Weyrich and William S. Lind of the Free Congress Foundation argues for more and better public transportation from a conservative perspective. Transit reduces traffic congestion, encourages economic development, spurs the development of city centers, and provides national security benefits.
  • Role of Transit Agencies in the Regional Transportation Planning Process - February 2009
  • State and National Public Transportation Needs Analysis - 2008
    APTA's funding recommendations are based in part on a national transit needs assessment which provides detail on capital funding needs over the next 20 years.
  • TransitVision 2050 - Final Report of APTA’s TransitVision 2050 Task Force - October 2008
  • Trends Affecting Public Transit's Effectiveness -- A Review and Proposed Actions - November 2004
    This report examines a range of socioeconomic and demographic trends, as well as changes in land use and mobility patterns in order to identify some questions, opportunities, and potential actions for consideration in the formulation of future strategic directions for transit in the community. The objectives of the study are to distill the medium-to-longer trends and the challenges they create for transit system effectiveness and for the industry as a whole.
  • Counting Transit So Transit Counts - May 2004
    This report shows how U.S. census data and other sources of information systematically under-report public transportation usage, and suggests ways that data collection methodologies can be improved to more accurately reflect actual levels of transit use.
  • How Transit Benefits People Who Do Not Ride It: A Conservative Inquiry (by Weyrich and Lind) - October 2003
    The report by Paul M. Weyrich and William S. Lind describes the benefits of transit service for people who do not ordinarily ride it. Nonusers encounter less congestion, save money, and see the values of their homes go up because of transit service. Transit’s positive impact for conservation and the importance of transit for the occasional users are also investigated.
  • How Transportation and Community Partnerships Are Shaping America - 2002
    This captivating and original power point presentation can be used in public presentations, at workshops, conferences and community meetings. The presentation highlights the connection between the TEA 21 law and the creation of livable communities. The show comes with an accompanying script, and is structured to allow individual presenters to tailor the presentation to their particular needs.
    Also contained in the Power Point Presentation are the reports:
    * How Transportation and Community Partnerships Are Shaping America—Part I: Transit Stops and Stations
    * How Transportation and Community Partnerships Are Shaping America—Part II: Streets and Roads
  • Commuter Rail New Starts Handbook - 2001
    The New Start Handbook presents information on all aspects of starting a commuter rail system. The handbook is designed to benefit those government and other entities considering starting a commuter rail system.
    Members: $25, Nonmembers: $50, available on the APTA Bookstore.
  • Handbook for State Transit Associations - 1997
    Comprehensive guide includes association formation and maintenance, tax-exempt status, antitrust, lobbying, and a complete directory of associations. Sample association publications are included.
  • Transportation Spending and Economic Growth: The Effects of Transit and Highway Expenditures - 1991
    An analytical report by Dr. David Alan Aschauer, Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, explains why one way to generate higher productivity growth is through increased funding for transportation, in general, and for public transit in particular.
  • Building Better Communities…Coordinating Land Use and Transit Planning Sourcebook - 1990
    Topics include benefits of transit, matching transit service to mobility needs, strategies, and agreements and policies. The appendices include a discussion on the definition of transit, park and ride guidelines, and an inventory of land development opportunities.
    Members Free, Nonmembers $15, available on the APTA Bookstore.
  • Public Transit Services: Considerations in Contracting - 1987
    A broad-based discussion and primer on the issues and approaches being taken in contracting for transit services. The report was developed directly by officials from both the public and private sectors in an effort to better inform those interested in the provision of contract services and private involvement.
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