Public Transit Projects Create More Jobs than Highways

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Dan Smith
U.S. PIRG Transportation Associate
(202) 546-9707, x340

Public Transit Projects Create More Jobs than Highways

WASHINGTON - New data released today by the Transportation Equity Network
reveals that investment in public transit can create hundreds of thousands more
jobs than highway projects.

More Transit Equals More Jobs examines official project lists
from 20 federally authorized Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and
concludes that “if [they] shifted 50 percent of their highway funds to
transit, they would generate an additional 184,801 jobs over a five-year period
without spending any more money.”

“This
report reveals just how much more bang we can get for our buck if we invest in transit,”
said Dan Smith, a transportation associate for U.S.
Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG).
“Transit provides important
benefits to communities and, with unemployment so high, this is data that
should not be ignored.”

Previous
studies, including examinations
of federal Recovery Act spending, have consistently found that public
transportation creates more jobs than highways. Investment in public transit
tends to be more labor-intensive than highway projects because the work is generally
more complex, involves the purchase and maintenance of vehicles, and requires
much less spending on land acquisition.

More Transit Equals More Jobs makes a broad case for larger
investments in our public transit systems. More money for transit not only
means more jobs but would additionally lead to less traffic congestion,
hazardous pollution, and global warming emissions.

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U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.

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