Photo of the Wabash ‘L’ by Clark Maxwell.
If you call your representatives to ask them to vote against bills that cut transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure funding, you can also add these talking points:
Highways and roads have the lowest return of jobs per dollar of investment
From the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst:
For each $1 million, the cycling projects in this study create a total of 11.4 jobs within the state where the project is located. Pedestrian-only projects create an average of about 10 jobs per $1 million and multi-use trails create nearly as many, at 9.6 jobs per $1 million. Infrastructure that combines road construction with pedestrian and bicycle facilities creates slightly fewer jobs for the same amount of spending, and road-only projects create the least, with a total of 7.8 jobs per $1 million. On average, the 58 projects we studied create about 9 jobs per $1 million within their own states. If we add the spill-over employment that is created in other states through the supply chain, the employment impact rises by an average of 3 additional jobs per $1 million. Read the full summary. Read the full study, by Heidi Garrett-Peltier.
Bicycling can save the economy
A series of 10 articles on “Bikenomics“, by Elly Blue.
Bicycle transportation is good for a lot of things — it’s healthy, it’s green, it’s quiet, it’s fun, it builds community. It also makes financial sense, and the magnitude of bicycling’s economic impact gets far less attention than it deserves. In the Bikenomics series, Elly Blue explores the scope of that impact, from personal finance to local economies to the big picture of the national budget. In the grassroots and on a policy level, the bicycle is emerging as an effective engine of economic recovery.
People who use transit to commute save thousands annually
It’s a no brainer: no gas and insurance to buy. From the American Public Transportation Association:
The report notes that riding public transportation saves individuals, on average $9,656 annually, and up to $805 per month based on the January 5, 2011 average national gas price ($3.08 per gallon-reported by AAA) and the national unreserved monthly parking rate. [This data is from January 5, 2011, but the information remains true today. The only difference is the calculated dollar amount each individual is saving over driving a car to work.]