Communicating the Economic Benefit and Value of Transit: A Guide for Local Transit Agencies

For the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), EBP (formerly EDR Group) developed two products in support of economic analysis by its member agencies: (1) a web-based tool* and (2) an economic analysis guide. The web-based tool allows agencies to analyze the ongoing role their operations and capital expenditures play within their regional economy.  For ease of use, the tool inputs match the categories of expenditures already reported by agencies to the National Transit Database.  Results are communicated in tabular form, as well as in graphical form, with detail on industry and occupational job mixes. The tool is designed to be used in conjunction with the companion piece, titled,  "My Economic Impact Tool: How to Use It."

The "My Economic Impact: How to Talk About My Numbers,"  guide is intended to assist public transit agencies with analyzing and then communicating the economic value of public transit. The guide demonstrates ways that agencies can address local challenges, better demonstrate the value of public transit and disseminate that message without necessarily requiring costly and complicated studies. It does so in three ways:

1. First, by showing how the staff of public transit agencies can initially address some issues by themselves, using readily available information to start quantifying and describing public transit’s role within a community;

2. Second, by showing how the staff of public transit agencies can then work directly with MPOs (or state DOTs or other governmental partners) to extend the analysis to document further how elements of the economy depend on transit services; and

3. Third, by showing how the staff of public transit agencies can make use of universities and consultants to more fully document the economic value and impact of transit investment scenarios.

*"My Economic Impact Tool," (web-based) is for APTA members only.