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New data released today by the Transportation Equity Network reveals that investment in public transit can create hundreds of thousands more jobs than highway projects.
More Transit Equals More Jobs examines official project lists from 20 federally authorized Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and concludes that “if [they] shifted 50 percent of their highway funds to transit, they would generate an additional 184,801 jobs over a five-year period without spending any more money.”
“Arizona will generate more bang for our buck if we invest in transit,” said Serena Unrein, Public Interest Advocate for the Arizona Public Interest Research Group (Arizona PIRG). “Transit provides important benefits to our state and, with Arizona’s unemployment rate as high as it is, this is data that should not be ignored.”
Previous studies, including examinations of federal Recovery Act spending, have consistently found that public transportation creates more jobs than highways. Investment in public transit tends to be more labor-intensive than highway projects because the work is generally more complex, involves the purchase and maintenance of vehicles, and requires much less spending on land acquisition.
More Transit Equals More Jobs makes a broad case for larger investments in our public transit systems. “More money for transit not only means more jobs, but also would lead to less traffic congestion and hazardous pollution,” said Unrein.
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