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New Study: 75% of Americans Support Using Tax Dollars to Improve Public Transit Infrastructure

Students boarding Route 50 at GVSU.

American support for public transportation infrastructure is on the rise.

Recently, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), in conjunction with the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI), released a study which underscores the public’s need for access to reliable public transportation and demonstrates broad support for investment in the nation’s aging transportation infrastructure. Its analysis shows that over 75 percent of Americans support using tax dollars to create, expand and improve public transportation in their communities, and that close to 70 percent believe Congress should increase the level of investment for public transportation infrastructure.

“It is time for Congress to recognize the clear message from Americans around the nation: we support investing our tax dollars to expand and maintain our public transportation systems,” said Michael Melaniphy, President and CEO of APTA. “Investing in our public transit infrastructure is a key ingredient to growing the economy in our local communities.  It is about creating jobs and improving the access to those jobs.  This can only happen with long-term investment.”

The report, The Benefits of Transit in the United States: A Review and Analysis of Benefit-Cost Studies, found that transit services provide significant, measurable net benefits in various operating environments:
–  Transit benefits often substantially exceed costs in rural and small urban areas–not just big cities.

–  Transit typically pays for itself in congestion relief benefits for mid- to large-sized urban areas.

–  Jobs and economic stimulus are among the largest benefit categories of transit.

–  Transit improves health care access and outcomes while reducing costs.

–  Transit saves money, with transit in larger urban areas benefiting more people.

In addition to demonstrating the American public’s support for investments into our country’s transportation infrastructure, the Mineta Institute and APTA study also highlights the value public transportation adds to communities across the country. Here are some important percentages to consider:

–  More than 80 percent agreed that public transportation provides an affordable way for people to get around;

–  According to more than 82 percent, public transportation provides people with vital connections to important resources like jobs, schools, and medical facilities;

–  Roughly 80 percent said that public transportation connects people to jobs, and thus helps to fuel economic growth and development.

–  Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed stated that public transportation creates a cleaner environment and reduces carbon emissions.

MTI conducted 1,503 telephone interviews with individuals across the United States.  The margin of error for the total sample is ± 2.53 percentage points, at the 95% confidence level. Smaller subgroups will have larger margins of error.

Read the full report here: http://transweb.sjsu.edu/PDFs/research/1425-US-transit-benefit-cost-analysis-study.pdf

Written by The Rapid

The Rapid (Interurban Transit Partnership) is the authority that provides a variety of public transportation services for the Grand Rapids metro area and beyond. It is organized and operates under Michigan Public Act 196 of 1986.