Category Archives: Transportation

In Tough Economic Times, Public Transit Users Save More Than $8,400 Per Household

Source: American Public Transportation Association, Transit News, February 5, 2009

As American families look for ways to save more and maximize their budgets, riding public transportation is a fast and easy solution to save money on the cost of commuting.

According to the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) “Transit Savings Report” a person riding public transportation can achieve an average annual savings of $8,481 per year by taking public transportation instead of driving, based on today’s gas prices and the average unreserved parking rate. 
See also:
Individual savings calculator    

Public Transit Ridership Surges as Gas Prices Decline – Highest quarterly transit ridership increase in 25 years

Source: American Public Transportation Association, Transit News, December 8, 2008

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced today that Americans continue to ride public transportation at record levels even though gas prices declined. More than 2.8 billion trips were taken on public transportation in the third quarter of 2008 — an increase of 6.5 percent over the third quarter of 2007. This is the largest quarterly increase in public transportation ridership in 25 years. Meanwhile, vehicle miles of travel (VMT) on the nation’s highways declined in the same period by 4.6 percent according to the Federal Highway Administration.
See also:
Public Transportation Ridership Statistics

Tough Times for Mass Transit

Source: Dave Demerjian, Wired Magazine, February 03, 2009

With the economy shaky and gas prices still unpredictable, more Americans than ever using light rail, subway, and bus to get where they need to go. Which makes the service cuts, layoffs, and fare increases that are decimating transit systems across the country all the more painful.

Our seemingly bottomless recession is creating record budget shortfalls at the state and local level, and that has transportation agencies desperately cutting costs and raising revenue to stay solvent. They’re counting on money from the proposed federal stimulus package to keep things from getting worse, but today Senate Republicans shot down a Democrat plan to pad that bill with extra transit funding.

Green Fleets Across America 2009

Source: School Bus Fleet, Vol. 55 no. 1, January 2009
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For pupil transporters, “going green” not only benefits the environment and yields cost savings, it provides a healthier ride and an educational experience for students. Here, we showcase practices in place at school districts and contractors throughout the country. 

Innovative State Transportation Funding and Financing: Policy Options for States

Source: David Burwell and Robert Puentes, National Governors Association, January 2009

From the press release:
The report, Innovative State Transportation Funding and Financing: Policy Options for States, outlines the challenges states face in funding transportation needs, and details a number of near- and longer-term policy solutions that states can examine.

The nation’s highways, roads, bridges, and transit systems currently are funded by an array of revenue sources, including fuel taxes, vehicle user fees, transit fares, impact fees, bonds, property and sales taxes, and general funds. However the total annual investment in surface transportation falls dramatically short of the amount needed to maintain the current system, let alone improve the status of the nation’s transportation infrastructure.

FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAYS: Federal Requirements for Highways May Influence Funding Decisions and Create Challenges, but Benefits and Costs Are Not Tracked

Source: United States Government Accountability Office, GAO-09-36, December 2008

As highway congestion continues to be a problem in many areas, states are looking to construct or expand highway projects. When a state department of transportation (DOT) receives federal funding for highway projects from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the projects must comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirement, the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program, and the Buy America program. While complying with these requirements, states must use limited transportation dollars efficiently. As requested, GAO addressed (1) the types of benefits and costs associated with these requirements for federal-aid highway projects; (2) the influence of these federal requirements on states’ decisions to use nonfederal or federal funds for highway projects; and (3) the challenges associated with the federal requirements and strategies used or proposed to address the challenges. To complete this work, GAO reviewed 30 studies, surveyed DOTs in all states and the District of Columbia, and interviewed transportation officials and other stakeholders.

Green Infrastructure Municipal Handbook

Source: Environmental Protection Agency, December 19, 2008

The Municipal Handbook is a series of documents to help local officials implement green infrastructure in their communities. Handbook topics cover issues such as financing, operation and maintenance, incentives, designs, codes & ordinances, and a variety of other subjects. The handbook documents are intended to serve as “how to” manuals on these topics, written primarily from the standpoint of municipal implementation. The handbook is being produced in sections, with each new element being released as it is completed.
Currently available:
Funding Options
Green Streets
Retrofit Policies
Rainwater Harvesting Policies

APWA Identifies $15B in “Shovel-ready” Projects

Source: American Public Works Association, December 2008

A survey by the American Public Works Association identified more than 3,600 unfunded local public works infrastructure projects totaling more than $15 billion that are ready to go within 90 days to provide a stimulative effect on the economy if funded by a federal economic recovery package under consideration by Congress. Funding these projects, just a sample of the identified local need, would generate approximately 532,794 jobs.

Voters Not Afraid To Raise Taxes For Transportation Funding

Source: American City and County, November 6, 2008

Voters in 17 states approved ballot measures that called for higher taxes to fund state and local transportation projects, according to the Washington-based American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).The approved measures would generate a total of $71 billion in new revenue for transportation infrastructure work.