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Report: Public Transit Systems Provide Significant, Varied Benefits

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

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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


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