In a finding that will surprise practically no one, a recent report — from Christopher E Ferrell at the Mineta Transportation Institute — has found that public transit systems in the US provide very notable and varied net benefits to the regions where they operate.
The report — The Benefits of Transit in the United States: A Review and Analysis of Benefit-Cost Studies — is the result of an analysis/review of economic evaluation studies examining the estimated benefit/cost ratios of various US public transit systems (spread across the nation).
Here are some of the most notable points made in the new report:
- Transit system benefits, in general, very substantially eclipse associated costs in rural and/or small urban regions — not only in large cities.
- Transit systems usually pay for themselves even with regard to only congestion-relief benefits — with regard to middle- to large-sized urban regions.
- Amongst all of the associated benefits, economic stimulus + new jobs are amongst the top for transit systems.
- Public healthcare access and outcomes seem to improve, along with an apparent reduction in costs. (It seems likely to me that confounding factors are involved in the apparent reduction.)
- Public transit systems save a lot of people money — this especially seems to be the case in larger urban areas where more people can rely on such systems without limitations being an issue.
- Public transit systems of course result in less automobile use, and therefore fewer fatal auto accidents — thus saving lives and reducing public health costs.
Those interested in reading (or perusing) the new report can find it here. Enjoy.
Image Credit: Charlotte Lynx