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Planned public transportation investments will help drive more business sales in the emerging tech sector, according to a new study commissioned by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).Titled "Public Transportation's Role in the Knowledge Economy," the study examines the emerging tech sectors in three communities and the role of public transportation in enhancing access to employees and promoting entrepreneurial infrastructure. The study looked at the emerging tech sectors in Silicon Beach, Calif.; Austin, Texas; and Durham, N.C. The authors described the cities as "innovation districts," or areas that include that include business incubators, anchor institutions and startups. The study emphasizes that such districts are becoming an important engine of U.S. economic growth. To succeed, the districts require both robust business and transportation infrastructure to be sustained over the long term, APTA officials said in a press release."Public transportation is the catalyst that attracts knowledge workers who show a preference to be connected with multiple transportation options to high-growth business centers," said APTA Chairwoman Valarie McCall. "It allows these Innovation Districts to create dense business infrastructure that preserves key community benefits while mitigating congestion issues and providing businesses greater access to labor."APTA designed the study and commissioned the Economic Development Research Group to conduct the research.According to the analysis, if the three communities' long-range transportation plans are fully implemented by 2035, the increase in productivity and transportation savings will generate:• more than $174 billion in cumulative business sales;• $76 billion in wage income; and• $105.5 billion in additional gross domestic product for the U.S. economy."This data shows how use of public transportation provides an alternative to a car dependent congested network in these tech corridors and it provides savings to both businesses and households as a result from reducing workers out-of-pocket travel costs, and travel time," said APTA President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Melaniphy.
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