The following excerpt appeared in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune on February 7, 2017. To read the full commentary, click here.
Make public transit a big part of infrastructure investment: Guest commentary – San Gabriel Valley Tribune
By Richard White
February 7, 2017
President Donald Trump has pledged to invest up to $1 trillion in America’s infrastructure, vowing to make our roads, rails and bridges the “envy of the world.”
The returns on that investment will far exceed its price tag — by creating thousands of jobs and saving consumers billions of dollars in transportation costs.
To fulfill his promise, Trump should call on Congress to send him an infrastructure bill early in the first year of his presidency. And to keep the economy growing, he should ensure that it includes substantial funding for public transportation.
Nearly 70 percent of voters polled following the presidential election support investment to repair and improve public transportation. A large majority who voted for Trump — 65 percent — feels similarly.
That’s because public transportation is a major source of working-class jobs and economic growth, in rural and urban communities alike. More than 400,000 people are currently employed in the sector. Every $1 billion spent on public transportation creates more than 50,000 jobs.
Public transportation also delivers serious savings to consumers. A person who swaps a commute by car for one by public transit can save an average of more than $800 per month — nearly $10,000 annually.
These returns redound across the economy. Every $1 spent on public transportation generates $4 in economic activity. And every $10 million investment in public transportation boosts business sales by $30 million.
To read the full commentary, click here.