Learn more at: eesi.org/briefings/view/051514transit

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the National League of Cities (NLC), and the U.S. Travel Association held a briefing, as part of Infrastructure Week 2014, on public transportation's impacts on local economies and why further investment in new and existing public transit systems has a fundamental impact on the nation's economic vitality. The briefing explored real-world examples backed up by a research report from APTA that investigates the connection between public transit and local economic development, productivity, and job creation.

Michael Melaniphy
President and CEO, American Public Transportation Association
Download Slides: eesi.org/files/Michael-Melaniphy-051514.pdf

Ralph Becker
Mayor of Salt Lake City, UT; 1st Vice President, National League of Cities
Download Slides: eesi.org/files/Ralph-Becker-051514.pdf

Elliott Ferguson
President and CEO, Destination DC

The briefing included local perspectives on the benefits of public transit development, including Salt Lake City, which has transformed its local economy with more than 70 miles of new rail lines built in the past five years -- ahead of schedule and under budget. The APTA study, The Economic Impact of Public Transportation Investment, delivers findings on the direct economic benefits of transit investments, including jobs in manufacturing, construction and public transit operations. The study also examines longer-term investment impacts on economic efficiency due to better mobility and the implications for urban development and transportation policy.

Public transit systems are working hard to expand capacity to provide viable low-cost transportation choices for more Americans while improving mobility, air quality and public health. But local officials are concerned that ridership growth and deferred maintenance will strain public transit services if appropriate long-term investments are not enacted soon. Within the next several months, several specific Congressional actions are essential for the well-being of public transportation. The current federal surface transportation authorization expires September 30, 2014. The Highway Trust Fund, which provides the federal share for both highways and public transportation, will begin running short of liquidity in August. A long-term commitment to public transportation investments will help local systems continue to offer dependable transportation options while providing wide-scale economic benefits.

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