Facts at a Glance
From big cities, to small towns and everywhere in between public transportation is a vital resource to Americans, and a cornerstone of the nation’s economy. Relying on transit for their daily mobility needs Americans use local public transportation systems to get to and from work, or school, the doctor’s office, shopping, or visiting with family and friends; providing a vital link between residents and their communities. Public transportation reduces the nation’s dependence on foreign oil. It saves gas, and reduces congestion, all while helping reduce our carbon footprint.
- In 2011, Americans took 10.2 billion trips on public transportation.
- 35 million times each weekday, people board public transportation.
- Public transportation is a $54 billion industry that employs more than 400,000 people.
- More than 7,700 organizations provide public transportation in the United States.
Public Transportation Provides Economic Opportunities and Jobs
- Every $1 invested in public transportation generates approximately $4 in economic returns.
- Every $1 billion invested in public transportation creates or supports 36,000 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.
- Public transportation not only gets people to work it puts people to work.
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.
- 83% of older Americans acknowledge public transit provides easy access to things they need in everyday life.
- Public transit is a vital link for the more than 51 million Americans with disabilities.
Public Transportation Saves Fuel, Reduces Congestion
- Access to bus and rail lines reduces driving by 4,400 miles per household annually.
- Americans living in areas served by public transportation save 785 million hours in travel time and 640 million gallons of fuel annually in congestion reduction alone.
- Without public transportation, congestion costs would have been an additional $19 billion.
Public Transportation Saves Money
- Public transportation provides an affordable, and for many, necessary, alternative to driving.
- Households that take public transportation, and live with one fewer car can save more than $9,900 per year.
Public Transportation Reduces Gasoline Consumption
- Public transportation’s overall effects save the United States 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually
- Households near public transit drive an average of 4,400 fewer miles than households with no access to public transit. This equates to an individual household reduction of 223 gallons per year.
Public Transportation Reduces Carbon Footprint
- Communities that invest in public transit reduce the nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually.
- One person switching to public transit can reduce daily carbon emissions by 20 pounds, or more than 4,800 pounds in a year.
- A single commuter switching his or her commute to public transportation can reduce a household’s carbon emissions by 10% and up to 30% if he or she eliminates a second car. When compared to other household actions that limit CO2, taking public transportation can be 10 times greater in reducing this harmful greenhouse gas.