Sunday, January 24, 2010

Public Transportation Creates More Jobs

While I agree that highway construction and maintenance is a valuable outlet for stimulus funds, there is a better way.

MAX Smart Growth America has taken a look at the stimulus and discovered something that might not seem so obvious: dollars spent on public transportation generate twice as many jobs as the same amount of money spent on highways and bridges.

The data tell us that every billion dollars in public transportation investments made as of October 31 2009 produced roughly an additional 8,000 job-months compared to highway projects. ARRA transportation funds have so far gone disproportionately to highways. If the total road + public transportation funding in the just-passed House jobs bill were invested equally in public transportation and highways, the same outlay would produce 71,415 additional job-months, equivalent to year-round employment for 5,951 additional people.

Public transportation helps preserve urban areas and raise property values along their travel corridors. It brings much less pollution than individual vehicles and saves riders over $9000 a year compared to driving. And public transportation dollars create twice as many jobs as highway dollars

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

Here in Portland, we have one of the best public transit systems in the nation, as I know well, because I do not drive.  I spend hours every week on buses and MAX (pictured above) trains.  Nevertheless, there is still plenty of room for improvement and expansion of that system.  For all the reasons listed above, I strongly support expenditures of more federal stimulus funds on public transit.


the walking man said...

See my last comment above.

TomCat said...

See my last reply above. ;-)

otis said...

I would love for Chicago to get its act together with regards to public transportation. If you are not going to 'The Loop' (The heart of downtown, basically the financial district) you can't get there from here very easily.
However, we need to seriously re-evaluate how much government workers we need. The US was close to 50% of employment was with the government in some capacity. We need Al Gore back to reduce government. We then need to keep him in office for about 20 years to get it back to a managable percentage. Of course, I would settle for a reasonable, working government for the people, by the people. I think things would fall into place if we had that.

Once again, I am not hopeful.

Lisa G. said...

We also had a good infrastructure for mass transit, but the CTA (which mostly serves downtown and the southern parts of the city) is constantly broke. When I took the "L" (CTA) 25 years ago, it cost $1. Now they charge $2. No wonder they are broke.

Unfortunately in Chicago, we also have a myriad of commercial trains; some of the suburban trains use those tracks as well. We're just plain out of room to build more tracks. I liked taking the train downtown when I worked there - especially when the Kennedy was under construction - for 6 years. It's still a clusterfuck of traffic now, even after they added two lanes. But when there's a banking holiday, you can sail right in. Why those people don't take the train is beyond me.

TomCat said...

Guys, Chicago is huge compared to Portland. The last time I was there was in the mid 1970s, and it was dang near impossible to get around driving or using CRT.