February 23, 2011 Edit
Affordability: We need transportation options to help us save on transportation costs.
Americans spend nearly 20 percent of their income on transportation â€“ second only to housing as an overall portion of income â€“ and are punished heavily by volatile swings in the oil market. The poorest fifth of Americans spend 42% of their annual household budget on automobile ownership. For many working households, the goal of affordable living is becoming less attainable as fuel prices and trip lengths increase due to a lack of transportation options and worsening sprawl.
Smart investment: Investing in transit can help spur economic growth.
Every $10 million in capital investment in public transportation yields $30 million in increased business sales and also saves $15 million in transportation costs for both highway and transit users.
Job Creation: Investing in transportation, especially transit, creates jobs.
Investing in transit and rail creates more jobs than any other form of transportation investment. Road repair work generates 16% more jobs per dollar than new road construction. Transit investment generates 31% more jobs. Furthermore, transit investment produces good family wage jobs in a variety of fields: vehicle operators, mechanics, construction trades, and vehicle manufacturing. Bike and pedestrian projects also out perform road construction in job creation per dollar invested.
Health: Investing in transit and ensuring that it is safe for people to walk and bike makes us healthier.
A 2004 study found than for every additional hour spent commuting by car there was a 6% increase in the likelihood of obesity. In contrast, walking and biking are associated with lower rates of obesity. For every additional kilometer walked there was an approximate 5% reduction in obesity.
Smarter Planning: Through strategic planning, we can make sure to get the transportation system that meets our needs for the least possible cost.
Over 80 cities and towns across the U.S. use performance-based planning to chart smart
futures, connecting growth with transportation investments and the environment on a
regional basis. Sacramento region is saving $9 billion in infrastructure costs over two decades because of their plan for compact growth. The Portland metro region is starting the process.
It is important that your personal story and voice come through in your written comments. Questions to consider:
How do you get to work, school, shopping or recreational activities?
What are the challenges that make it hard to get where you need to go?
What makes it easier to get around your community?
CTOD, Denver Post, Charlotte Observer
PolicyLink. â€œMaking Equity Central to Federal Transportation Policy,â€ Working title for April 2009 release. P olicyLink and Prevention Institute. â€œTransportation Equity and Health: A Synthesis 1. of Research and Policy Strategies,â€ working title for May 2009 release (Commissioned by the Healthy Eating, Active Living Convergence Partnership).
APTA and Public Transit Partnership for Tomorrow, â€œThe Benefits of Public Transportation: Essential Support for a Strong Economy,â€
Heintz, J., Pollin, R. and Garrettâ€Peltier, H. (2009). How Infrastructure Investments Support the U.S. Economy: Employment, Productivity and Growth. Political Economy Research Institute. University of Massachusetts at Amherst. www.peri.umass.edu/236/hash/efc9f7456a/publication/333/.
Garrett-Peltier, Heidi. 2010. Estimating Impacts of Pedestrian, Bicycle and Road Infrastructure. Political Economic Research Institute. http://www.bikeleague.org/resources/reports/pdfs/baltimore_Dec20.pdf.