American Public Transportation Association

Nearly Three in Four Private Sector Transit Businesses’ Activity Decreased or Remained Flat Due to Lack of Public Transit Investment

A study released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) noted that 74 percent of private sector businesses serving the public transit industry incurred flat or declining business over the past year due to uncertainty in federal investment, a down economy and a lack of investment on the state and local level. Of those reporting a decrease in business, the average decrease was 25 percent. The study "Impacts of the Recession on Public Transportation Businesses" reached out to APTA private sector business members serving the public transportation industry and revealed that 56 percent say they lost business from their public transportation clients and 52 percent of businesses say they expect to lay-off employees or cut back hiring as a result. Seventeen percent say they may have to shift operations and business development to other countries.

"This is further evidence that tells us now is the time to invest in our public transit infrastructure to create jobs and boost our economy," said William Millar, APTA president. "Cutting money to public transit systems simply means the loss of jobs and most of which are in the private sector."

Currently, there is a proposal in the U.S. House of Representatives to further cut federal investment in public transportation by more than 35 percent. According to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, these proposed cuts could lead to the loss of 141,000 jobs.

Seventy-four percent list uncertainty due to delay in federal authorization as having a negative impact on business revenue and two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents name the current weakness of the U.S. economy as having a negative effect on their business revenue and one respondent to the survey goes as far as to say "It is one thing to make cuts, see their magnitude and make business adjustments. It is a completely different story when even the cuts are up in the air — nothing can be planned for!"

The "Impacts of the Recession on Public Transportation Business" surveyed 800 of APTA's business members with an above average response rate of 16 percent and was conducted in the spring of 2011.