Job Impacts of Spending on Public Transportation: An Update

Posted by Content Coordinator on Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

“This document reviews and updates estimates of the job impacts of public transportation spending and it examines broader issues concerning the definition and measurement of those job impacts.  Key findings:

-The rate for federal funding of public transportation reflects a specific mix of capital investment and preventive maintenance funding as allowable by law.  Under current federal law, an estimated 30,000 jobs are supported per billion dollars of spending.

-The national rate can vary from of 24,000 to 41,000 jobs per billion dollars of spending, depending on the spending mix.  The lower figure holds for spending on capital investments (vehicles and facilities), while the higher figure holds for spending on transit system operations. In reality, it is not logical to spend money on vehicles and not use them, nor is it logical to operate vehicles forever without any purchases of new equipment.  For these reasons, the average rate is a more meaningful number.

-Looking across the entire $47 billion spent on public transportation in the US each year, there is an average rate of approximately 36,000 jobs per billion dollars of public transportation spending (i.e., 36 jobs per million dollars of spending).  This figure is based on the national mix of public transportation spending as of 2007.  It includes a direct effect of spending in transportation related manufacturing, construction and operations as well as orders to suppliers or by re-spending of worker income on consumer purchases.

-The rate of jobs supported per billion dollars of spending will continue to change every year, as prices change and technologies evolve.”

Job Impacts of Spending on Public Transportation: An Update

About American Public Transportation Association
“APTA is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 member organizations including public transportation systems; planning,  design, construction and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; and state associations and  departments of transportation…APTA and its members and staff work to ensure that public transportation is available and accessible for all Americans in communities across the country.”

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