Economic Cost of Failing to Modernize Public Transportation

For the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), EBP (formerly EDR Group) examined how transit disinvestment affects regional economies and how agencies are working to address transit State of Good Repair (SGR). The report summarizes ongoing developments in agency decision making and management processes and provides an overview of the current state of practice. This study seeks to understand how agencies consider broader societal effects of SGR in their management processes and how important transit systems are to six regions. 

The team also explored key economic dynamics including (1) how disinvestment in transit services and assets occurs in different contexts, (2) key indicators of disinvestment trends and related decisions facing transit agencies, (3) how the long-term costs of disinvestment affect transportation markets and the wider economy, and (4) appropriate ways to identify, describe and respond to changes in transportation markets and revenues to pro-actively pursue alternatives to disinvestment. The study includes detailed case examples of transit disinvestment, its' effects on local communities and their economies, and agency responses. EBP worked with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), and Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA) for this research.