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. (Source: 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 (Source: 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 - 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 - 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 - More than 1,500 rural and tribal government transit agencies offer transit service. Passenger Travel Facts and Figures
2014 - 97% of bus stations are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Passenger Travel Facts and Figures
2014 - Transportation contributes to 8.9% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ($1.66 trillion) Passenger Travel Facts and Figures
2014 - Public Transit provides 10.5 billion unlinked trips (trips on one transit vehicle regardless of the type of fare paid or transfer presented) 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 February 12, 2018