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Investment in public transit creates U.S. job for new green economy

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Although it has been a part of our lives for more than 150 years, public transportation is one of the key investments to create jobs as we address the new emerging green economy, according to the American Public Transportation Association as it released a new report Oct. 23. With previous research showing public transit's significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gases, the report, "Economic Impact of Public Transportation Investment," demonstrates how increased investment in public transportation provides good green jobs, wages and business income in industries that have been particularly hit hard by the economic downturn.

The report found that for
every $1 billion invested in public transportation capital and operations, an
average of 36,000 jobs are supported. These 36,000 jobs result in roughly $3.6
billion of business sales and generate nearly $500 million in federal, state
and local tax revenues.

"By investing in public
transportation, the U.S. is able to create immediate green jobs and income
through the manufacturing, construction and operation of public transit
vehicles," said APTA President William Millar. "These are the types of jobs
needed as we look to ‘green’ the American economy".

As outlined in the report,
short- and long-term economic benefits result in the effect that for every $1
invested in public transportation, $4 is generated in economic returns. While
these are national averages, the results vary depending on local conditions and
returns and it can be as high as $9 in economic activity for every $1 invested.

"Public transportation
investments offer both short- and long-term benefits to our economy," notes
Glen Weisbrod of Economic Development Research Group, the author of this
research effort. "This investment not only brings an immediate economic impact
on job creation and business sales, but it also provides the long-term benefit
of improving our nation’s transportation system, which in turn improves the
efficiency of our economy

"A lot of unemployed
Americans are hurting right now as the job market continues to retract,"
concluded Millar. "If we act now to include funding for public transportation
in the climate change legislation and move quickly on transportation
authorization, it can result in creating and supporting millions of jobs over
the next six years and beyond. This report shows that investment in public
transit puts Americans back to work in good green transportation jobs, boosts
the GDP and helps the environment."

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