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Growth propels public transit to $55 billion industry, APTA says


Yesterday, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) released an updated report that shows public transit has grown to a $55 billion industry over the past three decades.

Titled “The Case for Business Investment in Public Transportation,” the report underscores a “steady growth trend” in public transportation systems, making the case for investment in the public transportation industry, APTA officials said in a prepared statement.

Public transit systems carried more than 10 billion riders for the fifth consecutive year in 2010 and reached the highest level since 1957, report states.

The report also highlights support for improved public transportation through approved transit ballot measures — such measures have a 73 percent approval rate over the past 12 years, APTA officials said.

“Community leaders realize the combined support for public transit from all levels of government is a shot in the arm for their local economy,” said APTA President William Millar. “This industry provides a great opportunity for those wanting to grow their business while supporting and building the transportation infrastructure this country desperately needs.”

Growing ridership has led to an increase in the number of rail systems. Between 1980 and 2010, the number of commuter-rail systems grew from 10 to 28, while the number of light-rail systems increased from seven to 35.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/5/2011