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Value of Public Transit

Why Public Transit Matters

Public transit benefits all of us, even those who don’t ride. A strong public transit system enhances the quality of life in our communities and helps them thrive. It connects people to jobs and jobs to people. It reduces traffic congestion and improves safety. It stimulates economic activity and helps revitalize neighborhoods.

Public transportation is about meeting the mobility needs and improving the lives of everyone in our local communities and our nation. Here are just a few key reasons to “Get On Board,” not just on April 25, but every day.

The Value of Public Transit for YOU

Public transportation provides immense value for individual Americans every day. Older Americans and people with disabilities are able to live more independently, access healthcare and other important services, and participate in their local economies and communities. Younger Americans have more options for attending school and starting their careers. Families are able to reduce household expenses and maintain flexibility. Employers are able to attract more qualified workers and a larger customer base.

Strong mobility systems have public transportation as their backbone. Here are just a few ways people have told us they personally benefit from public transit:

  • Easier Connectivity: Buses and trains help reduce traffic congestion for drives; cabs and rideshare services make it more feasible for people to walk and bike because they will have other ways of getting to their destinations if weather or other conditions change. Flexible public transportation makes getting around easier for everyone.
  • Safety: You can reduce your chance of being in an accident by more than 90 percent simply by taking public transit as opposed to commuting by car. Less cars on the road mean safer roads and travel for all.
  • Household Savings: A household can save nearly $10,000 by taking public transportation and living with one less car.

The Value of Public Transit for Your Community

We all know the benefits of public transportation extend far beyond the individual. Here are just a few examples of why communities, not just individuals, see the value of strong public transportation systems.

  • Economic and Community Development – Public transportation attracts business investment, builds tax revenue, and fosters affordable housing. Did you know that 70 percent of public funding for public transportation reaches the private sector?
  • Public Health – Public transportation supports healthy communities. Public transportation provides a critical link to hospitals and medical centers so people can access healthcare – especially preventive care. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends expanding public transportation because of its contribution to public health.
  • Quality of Life  – Public transportation reduces traffic and air pollution, gives people more flexibility and access, and brings folks together so members of the community feel more connected.

The Value of Public Transit for the Nation

Our nation benefits greatly from a strong public transportation infrastructure. From cleaner air to less congested roads to a stronger economy, the benefits of public transportation are much more than just getting folks from Point A to Point B.

  • Environmental Protection – Public transportation cuts our nation’s use of gasoline by more than 4 billion gallons annually. The results are cleaner air and lower carbon emissions.
  • Creating Jobs and Powering the Economy – Investing in public transportation creates jobs and serves as an economic catalyst. Every $1 billion invested in public transportation supports or creates more than 50,000 jobs. Transit projects also attract business investment and community development.
  • Fighting Poverty – Access to transportation is the single most significant factor in enabling people to break the cycle of poverty. Public transportation helps more people access jobs and education and gives them greater self-reliance.

Public Transit Investment Fast Facts

Public transportation is a smart, responsible use of taxpayer dollars:

  • Every $1 invested in public transportation generates $4 in economic returns.
  • Every $1 billion invested in public transportation supports more than 50,000 jobs directly.
  • 70 percent of public funding for public transit flows to the private sector, creating and supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs in other industries and economic sectors.
  • Home values in areas located near high-frequency public transit performed 42 percent better than other areas.

Learn More

The case for public transportation has been made many times, in many ways. To learn more, explore these resources:

The Need for Investment

Safety

Community Benefits