PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION BENEFITS**
Public transportation in the United States is a crucial part of the solution to the nation’s economic, energy, and environmental challenges – helping to bring a better quality of life. In increasing numbers, people are using public transportation and local communities are expanding public transit services. Every segment of American society – individuals, families, communities, and businesses – benefits from public transportation.
Public Transportation Consists of a Variety of Modes
- Trolleys and light rail
- Commuter trains
- Cable cars
- Van pool services
- Paratransit services for Senior citizens and people with disabilities
- Ferries and water taxis
- Monorails and tramways
- In 2019, Americans took 9.9 billion trips on public transportation.
- 34 million times each weekday, people board public transportation.
- Public transportation is a $80 billion industry that employs more than 448,000 people.
- Approximately 6,800 organizations provide public transportation in the United States.
- 45% of Americans have no access to public transportation.
- Millennials consider public transportation as the best option for digital socializing and among the best for connecting with communities.
- Long-term investment in public transit supports 50,000 jobs and $382 million in tax revenue per $1 billion invested.
- A total of 87 percent of trips on transit directly benefit the local economy.
- A total of 84 percent less CO2 emissions by using the subway rather than a car.
- The public transportation industry is a leader in clean technology, with the share of hybrid electric buses jumping from seven percent in 2010 to 18.8 percent in 2020.
- Cities with more than 40 annual public transit trips per person have one-half the traffic fatality rate of those with fewer than 20 trips per person.
Public Transportation Enhances Personal Opportunities
- Public transportation provides personal mobility and freedom for people from every walk of life.
- Access to public transportation gives people transportation options to get to work, go to school, visit friends, or go to a doctor’s office.
- Public transportation provides access to job opportunities for millions of Americans.
Public Transportation Provides Economic Opportunities
- Every $1 invested in public transportation generates $5 in economic returns.
- Every $1 billion invested in public transportation supports and creates approximately 50,000 jobs.
- Every $10 million in capital investment in public transportation yields $30 million in increased business sales.
- Every $10 million in operating investment yields $32 million in increased business sales.
- An estimated $39 billion of public transit expenditures flow into the private sector.
- Home values were up to 24% higher near public transportation than in other areas. Hotels in cities with direct rail access to airports raise 11% more revenue per room than hotels in those cities without.
Public Transportation Reduces Gas Consumption and Carbon Footprint
- Public transportation’s overall effects save the United States 6 billion gallons of gasoline annually.
- Communities that invest in public transit reduce the nation’s carbon emissions by 63 million metric tons annually.
Public Transportation is a safer way to travel than by automobile
- Traveling by public transportation is 10 times safer per mile than traveling by automobile.
- A person can reduce his or her chance of being in an accident by more than 90% simply by taking public transit as opposed to commuting by car.
Public Transportation Saves Money
- The average household spends 16 cents of every dollar on transportation, and 93% of this goes to buying, maintaining, and operating cars, the largest expenditure after housing.
- A household can save nearly $10,000 by taking public transportation and living with one less car.
For more public transportation facts, see the Public Transportation Fact Book.