American Public Transportation Association

Public Transportation Industry Supports Doubling U.S. Energy Productivity by 2030

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced it is pleased to support the Alliance to Save Energy’s Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy’s goal of doubling U.S. energy productivity by 2030.

Recommendations to reach that goal were unveiled today in a report called Energy 2030: Doubling U.S. Energy Productivity at a Washington, D.C., press conference. The report highlighted that investing $79 billion in more productive transportation systems, including public transportation, would allow the U.S. to save $218 billion in energy costs by 2030, for a net savings of $139 billion.

“The Commission’s report looks at the full range of measures to increase energy productivity, and expanding public transportation choices is considered a central element in a comprehensive, forward-looking and transformative national strategy for energy productivity,” said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy, who also serves as a commissioner on the bipartisan panel. “Investing in public transportation has the dual benefit of improving energy productivity while creating jobs.”

The report showed that improved energy productivity in the U.S. can result in producing more goods and services and uses less energy. This will result in cost savings, job creation, and reducing energy waste.

The report notes that in one scenario, individuals can cut average household costs by more than $1,000 per year by 2030 through improved energy productivity. However, APTA data shows that by making public transportation use a part of one’s daily routine, these costs can increase ten-fold.

For instance, an individual living in a two-person household can achieve annual savings of $10,000 by taking public transportation instead of driving and living with one less car. By making public transportation choices more available, APTA notes individual households will have the opportunity to dramatically exceed the commission’s household savings goal.

Melaniphy also noted that investing in public transportation will help the U.S. move toward the commission’s goal of creating 1.3 million jobs by 2030. “There are big economic dividends paid to local communities when we invest in public transit,” Melaniphy said. “Every $1 billion invested in public transportation creates and supports 36,000 jobs. These jobs result in roughly $3.6 billion in business sales and generate nearly $500 million in federal, state, and local tax revenues.”

The Commission was led by chairs Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), and Tom King, president of the National Grid. The commission worked for a year to identify the most impactful bipartisan energy policy solutions, and public transportation was a key element in their strategy.

“To make these recommendations come to life, Congress can embrace a closer linkage between transportation policy and energy policy by investing in energy-efficient transportation infrastructure like public transportation,” Melaniphy said. “Greater federal investments in public transit can be the catalyst for state governments, local/regional governments, and the private sector to also provide resources. Incentives to promote productive energy development patterns will help underpin good public transportation and will facilitate regional and local plans to create jobs and improve energy productivity.”