The country is currently confronted with an estimated $90 billion in public transit infrastructure needs.
And that’s the good news.
According to a report just issued by the Washington-based American Public Transportation Association, those unmet public rail and bus infrastructure needs have led to a loss of $340 billion in U.S. business revenue.
That’s because a lack of public transit or delayed commutes due to infrastructure issues negatively impacts the number of people who need such transportation to get to work, as well as businesses whose customers also use those same systems.
The report, The Economic Cost of Failing to Modernize Public Transportation, was conducted by the Economic Development Research Group of Boston, and says that nearly 40 percent of the nation’s rail transit stations, and over 35 percent of its dedicated right of ways are classified as being in poor condition.
The numbers were a little more positive when it comes to bus infrastructure, according to the report, with 12 percent of stations and 6 percent of right of ways thought to be in poor condition.
The declining condition of the nation’s transit infrastructure comes during a time when such systems are experiencing increased ridership, particularly in urban areas of the country experiencing rapid population growth.
But, according to Paul Skoutelas, the president of the APTA, one of the most effective ways to address aging public transit infrastructure is through the continued Congressional funding of the Highway Trust Fund, which draws its support from federal fuel taxes.
Calling on both the Trump Administration and Congress to address the solvency of that fund, Skoutelas, in a statement accompanying the report, said, “This will provide predictable, multi-year funding to not only address America’s deteriorating infrastructure, but provide for continued investment to help grow the nation’s economy.”
By Garry Boulard
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