Public Transit: The Affordable Choice

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Car ownership is expensive. And, as those who do not live within easy access of affordable public transportation know all too well, depending only on your car is even more expensive. Access to affordable public transit in residential areas is crucial to keeping the average American family on track financially. Families who rely on a car are at the mercy of ever-climbing gas and insurance rates. And now, when gas prices across the country are dropping, Idahoans are looking at gas prices which are higher than the nation average

Cost aside, according to the American Public Transportation Association, "Public transportation’s overall effects save the United States 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually." Lessening America's dependence on the expense of gasoline and imports, advancing public transportation also brings more jobs to our communities. Not just that, but "households near public transit drive an average of 4,400 fewer miles than households with no access to public transit," says APTA, "This equates to an individual household reduction of 223 gallons per year."

APTA's research shows further impetus to broaden our public transportation systems, too. The overall economic effect of public transportation is overwhelmingly positive:

  • 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.