Transit Benefits Statistics

National RTAP has compiled a list of compelling statistics from diverse national sources that your organization can add to presentations, brochures, handouts, and advertisements to help demonstrate the many benefits and lasting value of public transit. By using powerful data in your marketing materials, you can influence stakeholders to foster policies and improve funding mechanisms that invest in and expand the reach of transit. Statistics in this toolkit can also be used in direct consumer marketing materials to attract and retain current and future riders.

The data on this page cover a host of substantial transit benefits and assets, including economic prosperity, expanded job opportunities, enhanced access to vital community resources, and improvements to the environment and public health and individual well-being.  

Research for this page includes many print, online and social media sources.  Sources and links to original research and reports are provided next to the data.



2017 - Social isolation costs $6.7 billion annually. Medicare Spends More on Socially Isolated Older Adults


Active Living Research

2012 - Public transit users take 30% more steps each day than people who rely on cars. The Role of Transportation in Promoting Physical Activity
2011 - Walking to and from public transit satisfies the daily physical activity recommendation for 29% of transit users.  Land Use, Transportation, and Community Design  



2018 - 1.1 million jobs are created or sustained per year by public transportation.  More than 50,731 jobs are created per $1 billion investment in public transportation. (Source: APTA's Twitter Feed)
2018  - Taking transit saves people an annual average of $9,900 per year. Public Transportation Benefits
2018  - Public transit employs nearly 400,000 people.  Twitter #TransitFundingTuesday
2017 - Nearly 90% of Transit Ballot Initiatives passed in 2017 Nearly 90% of Transit Ballot Initiatives passed in 2017
2017 - Public transit ridership increased nearly 8% between 2007-2015 Rural and Small Town Public Transit Ridership Increased Nearly 8% Since 2007
2017 - There are 2.9 million rural veterans living in America, making up 33 percent of the veteran population enrolled in the VA health care system. Public Transportation Supports America's Veterans
2017 - Living with one less car can save you an average of $826 per month  APTA's Twitter Feed
2017 - Public transit saves $21 billion in congestion-related costs per year. Dump the Pump Transit Facts
2016 - Traveling by public transit is 10 times safer per mile than traveling by automobile. Commuters Reduce Their Crash Risk by More Than 90 Percent When Taking Public Transit Instead of Driving



2017 - Rural Americans with disabilities take 50% more trips on public transit. Public Transit's Impact in Rural and Small Towns
2017 - Rural transit's multiplier effect is $3.55 for every $1 invested.  Public Transit's Impact in Rural and Small Towns



2014 - Rural transit is the second safest way to travel - rural transit providers can expect a fatality only once every 93 years. Rural Transit's Outstanding Safety Record



2017 - In the United States, transit ridership from 2007-2017 has grown by more than 20%, reaching its highest levels since 1957. National Transit Database
2016 - It only costs $3.88 per revenue mile to operate a rural bus. National Transit Database Presentation
2016 - Americans took 10.2 billion trips on public transportation. National Transit Database



2015 - Total annual ridership for rural transit systems increased 3% in 2015. Rural Transit Fact Book
2015 - Rural transit agencies provide 490 million miles of service and 28 million vehicle hours of service annually. Rural Transit Fact Book
2015 - Tribal transit agencies provide agencies provide 3.6 million rides annually. Rural Transit Fact Book



2012 - Every $1.00 put into a travel training program creates a return of $1.45 to $3.98. Research Pays Off: Can Travel Training Services Save Public Transportation Agencies Money? 



2017 - Americans take 10 billion trips on public transportation annually. National Transit Database
2016 - Transportation employs over 13 million people. Transportation Statistics Annual Report
2016 - More than 1,500 rural and tribal government transit agencies offer transit service. Passenger Travel Facts and Figures
2015 - Transit ridership has been on an uphill trajectory since 1995, increasing by about 30% in 20 years. Transportation Statistics Annual Report
2015 - The transportation sector accounted for 9% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ($1.66 trillion) and 9% of the U.S. labor force. Transportation Statistics Annual Report
2014 - Transporation programs generated over $355 billion in revenue for the United States. Transportation Statistics Annual Report
2014 - 97% of bus stations are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Passenger Travel Facts and Figures


Voices for Public Transit

2017 - Public transit employs about 400 thousand people & creates over 100 thousand private-sector jobs. Public Transportation Matters


Updated March 19, 2018