April marked another month of more than 1 million in bus ridership. The most recent ridership report shows 1,269,526 riders used HART buses to get around Hillsborough County in April.
"Also contributing to strong public transit use is high quality, reliable service and the use of modern real time technology and we are pleased that more people are taking advantage of the affordable cost and convenience of our service," said Interim HART Chief Executive Officer Katharine Eagan. "However, delivering and sustaining quality service levels and modern infrastructure requires a long-term sustainable and reliable investment."
According to a study released May 14 by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), investment in public transportation will lead to 50,700 jobs per $1 billion invested, with 28,900 jobs per $1 billion attributed to the productivity gains enjoyed by households and businesses. This study, Economic Impact of Public Transportation Investment, was released during an event in Washington D.C. in conjunction with APTA, the National League of Cities, the U.S. Travel Association and the Environment and Energy Study Institute. The event was part of Infrastructure Week 2014.
"The data are clear: one of the strongest tools to create a vital and productive national economy and build strong communities is investment in public transportation," said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. "This study breaks new ground in calculating the significant productivity gains of public transportation investment."
The APTA study indicates that public transportation investment provides increased productivity in two areas. First, the savings achieved to households, from reduced congestion and less reliance on automobile use. This changes purchasing power, by at least $18.4 billion per year. Second, savings to businesses, by improving employers' access to the labor market with more efficient commutes for its current and potential employees, along with reducing congestion costs and logistics, results in contributing an additional $10.1 billion to the U.S. economy.