Public transportation is a staple in every community, even though many people don’t realize it. There are many ways you can personally benefit from using public transportation. Not owning or as frequently using a car, for example, can save you a lot of money. You’ll have extra downtime to relax, which is difficult to come by in our work-oriented society. Plus, using public transit gets your body moving as you walk between bus stops and destinations.
But perhaps even more important than the individual advantages public transportation has to offer, are the larger-scale benefits it offers the locality in which it operates. Let’s take a closer look at some of the—often overlooked—positive effects public transit systems have on their respective communities!
1) Public transportation stimulates the local economy.
In a 2020 report by the American Public Transportation Association, researchers found that investing in public transit yields a 5:1 economic return for the local community. What that means, essentially, is that for every $1 a city invests in public transportation, they get $5 back! The reason for this is that public transit gives more people easier access to businesses throughout the community, meaning more customers for local businesses. The public transportation system also creates local jobs (almost 50,000 per $1 billion invested), which further stimulates the economy.
2) Public transportation expands and diversifies the local job market.
Public transportation systems don’t just create more jobs, they give members of the community easier access to private sector jobs too. When location is no longer a barrier, people from all walks of life and the area can apply for and work jobs they otherwise couldn’t get to on a regular basis. This is particularly beneficial for poorer sections of the community, where residents are less likely to have personal vehicles.
3) Public transportation reduces a community’s carbon footprint.
Buses are much better for the environment than private vehicles because they can carry more people at once. This translates to fewer carbon and fuel emissions per person, per mile. With decreased pollution, the local air quality will improve and maintain better quality. Also, because public transportation vehicles use less overall energy than personal vehicles, they help conserve resources like oil and gasoline.
4) Public transportation reduces local traffic congestion.
One vehicle carrying 30+ passengers takes that many single-passenger vehicles off the road. Not only is this better for the environment, but it is better for the traffic flow of the entire city as well. Reduced traffic congestion from private vehicles replaced with public ones makes roads more functional, allowing people to get around more efficiently. A decrease in travel time means more free time for you and others to relax and stimulate the community in other ways.
5) Public transportation offers mobility for everyone in the community.
People who otherwise couldn’t get around can become active members of the community when they have access to public transportation. Anyone who can’t drive due to a disability, health condition, financial constraints, age, or another reason have the freedom and resources to travel around as needed and desired. This gives these people greater access to jobs (offering further independence financially) and allows them to get around to stores, schools, doctor’s office, and to socialize.
6) Public transportation is a safer travel option for community members.
There are several factors that make public modes of transportation safer for both drivers and pedestrians than single-passenger cars. First, public transportation vehicles themselves are better-designed for safety than regular cars. Not to mention, they’re more frequently inspected and typically better-maintained. Additionally, one professionally-trained driver can take the place of 30+ independent drivers without the same training, skill, or experience. This leads to fewer accidents by cutting down on the number of potentially irresponsible drivers on the road, as well as by decongesting traffic that may cause accidents.
Are you looking to ramp up public transportation in your community, so you can reap the benefits it has to offer? Northwest Bus Sales has the vehicles you need to expand your operation! From shuttle buses to transit buses, handicap-accessible models and more, our inventory of new and used buses can get you one step closer to your community goals.
Find the buses you’re looking for on our website today or stop by our bus yard to explore even more options!