Benefits of Public Transportation
Mobility & Convenience
Mobility, the freedom and ability to travel, has always been an important part of the American lifestyle. However, as more and more vehicles crowd the nation's roadways, traffic congestion is having an increasingly debilitating effort on our quality of life.
- Congestion caused 4.2 billion hours of travel delay and 2.9 billion gallons of wasted fuel in 2005, according to the 2007 Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) Urban Mobility Report.
- The average person in the Nashville-Davidson area loses about 40 hours and wastes 25 gallons of fuel per year sitting in traffic congestion.
- Public transportation services in America's most congested cities saves more than 1.1 billion hours of additional delay.
- Public Transit enhances economic growth by increasing the local customer base for a range of services.
- National research shows that four out of five seniors believe public transit is a better option than driving alone. By 2025, an estimated 20 percent of Americans will be over the age of 65 and more reliant on alternative forms of transportation.
- The greater Nashville region is expected to grow from 1.3 million people in 2008 to more than 2.1 million by 2030, adding significant demands to the regional transportation network.
Personal & Regional Economic Prosperity
Transportation is the backbone of a strong and prosperous economy, and investments in public transportation generate significant economic benefits.
- The average household spends 18 cents of every dollar on transportation, and 94% of this goes to buying, maintaining, and operating cars, the largest expenditure after housing.
- Public transportation provides an affordable, and for many, necessary, alternative to driving.
- Households that are likely to use public transportation on a given day save over $8,400 every year.
- According to the American Public Transportation Association, for every 10 dollars invested in transit capital, 30 dollars is returned to the economy through increased business sales.Ã‚ Even more is returned for every 10 dollars invested in transit operations.
- Public transportation provides economic stimulus by creating jobs. Every $1 billion in federal investment in transportation infrastructure supports and creates 47,500 jobs in manufacturing, construction, finance, insurance, real estate, retail, and other services.
- Mass transit enhances personal economic opportunity by saving employees money on daily commutes. The average household spends 18 cents out of every dollar earned on transportation costs – 94 percent of that on maintaining and operating personal autos.Ã‚ Transit riders save an average of $1,400 per year on gas and up to $6,251 in savings by eliminating the need for one car.
- A multi-modal transportation systems saves everyone money. For every $10 million invested in transit, more than $15 million is saved by highway and transit users. Americans living in areas with transit save an estimated $18 billion in annual congestion costs.
- Transit provides access to jobs and education.
As we become more conscious of how our travel behaviors affect our environment, public transportation will play an important role in meeting local, sate, and federal environmental sustainability goals.
- Each year, public transportation saves the U.S. 1.4 billion gallons of gasoline per day, the equivalent of one supertanker leaving the Middle East every 11 days.
- The health effects of mobile source pollution are a growing hazard for people across America. According to the U.S. EPA, asthma accounts for more than 2 million emergency room visits, 5,000 deaths, and costs the nation more than $14 billion per year.
- Public transportation produces 95 percent less carbon monoxide, 90 percent less volatile organic compounds, and 50 percent less carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide per passenger mile than private vehicles.
- The Nashville region is expected to be designated by the EPA as non-attainment for ozone levels by 2010 – indicating a growing health hazard for residents.
- Public transportation supports quality growth management policies aimed at reducing sprawling land development patters by providing residents more choices for travel.
- Communities that invest in public transit reduce the nation's carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually – equivalent to New York City; Washington, DC; Atlanta; Denver; and Los Angeles combined stopping using electricity.
- One person switching to public transit can reduce daily carbon emissions by 20 pounds, or more than 4,800 pounds in a year.
- A single commuter switching his or her commute to public transportation can reduce a household's carbon emissions by 10% and up to 30% if he or she eliminates a second car. When compared to other household actions that limit CO2, taking public transportation can be 10 times greater in reducing this harmful greenhouse gas.
And Much More
- Increase Real-estate Value
Residential, commercial, or office properties that are served by public transportation are valued more highly than properties not accessible by transit.
- Emergency Preparedness
Public transportation is an important part of most disaster relief or emergency evacuation plans.
- Transportation for Rural Americans
Transit offers mobility options for rural residents that might have no other way to medical appointments, work, or school.
- Increased Roadway Safety
Public transportation has 0.03 fatalities per 100 million miles, about 1/25th the rate for automobiles.
- Improved Physical Health
Public transportation contributes to overall personal health by providing physical activity while traveling. More than 1 out of every 3 Tennesseans is considered obese or overweight.