The Economic Cost of Failing to Modernize Public Transportation

The Economic Cost of Failing to Modernize Public Transportation

According to case studies, transit systems not in a state of good repair are particularly vulnerable when unanticipated events occur. This can cost a local or regional economy millions of dollars in repairs and lost revenue. Along with the net gains or losses at stake to the U.S. economy, the condition of public transit infrastructure has regional and local implications. As cities throughout America compete to retain key occupations and businesses, the condition and quality of public transit infrastructure play a growing role in what makes a thriving regional economy. The total SGR (State of Good Repair) backlog was estimated to be at $89.9 billion in 2015, and is continuing to grow. Six case studies provide detailed examples of how different agencies are dealing with SGR issues.

Key findings

Findings from throughout the U.S. economy suggest that businesses, developers and public transit agencies can be well served by raising the bar of public transportation system conditions.

The experiences of public transit systems and economic development interests show that it is essential for systems to secure a funding stream for their basic State of Good Repair (SGR) needs and get to a level of SGR where resources can be free to consider strategic changes to the extent of services in the future.

The ongoing annual occurrence of public transit system failure diffused throughout the U.S. which, if addressed, could generate over 162,000 jobs and over $180 billion in GNP over a six-year period.

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