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.



2018 - 61% of people say it's extremely or very important to have special transportation services for older adults and persons with disabilities. Stats and Facts From the 2018 AARP Home and Community Preferences Survey
2017 - Social isolation costs $6.7 billion annually. Medicare Spends More on Socially Isolated Older Adults



2019 - Motorcoaches release the least amount of CO2 emmissions (36.7) compared to other modes of travel, such as car with one person (355.7), transportation network company (374.4), and domestic air travel (181.5). Updated Comparison of Energy Use & Emissions from Different Transportation Modes



2020 - There are 1,279 rural public transit systems in the United States and ridership in rural areas is estimated at 125.6 million trips. 2020 Public Transportation Factbook
2020 - Public transportation provides nearly 10 billion commuter, leisure, non-emergency medical and specialized trips each year. 2020 Public Transportation Factbook
2019 - 87% of trips on public transit have a direct impact on the local economy.  2019 Public Transportation Factbook
2019 - Communities that invest in public transit reduce the nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually. 2019 Public Transportation Factbook
2019 - A household can save nearly $10,000 by taking public transportation and living with one less car, and the overall effects save the United States 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually. 2019 Public Transportation Factbook
2019 - Home values in areas located near high-frequency public transit performed 42% better than other areas. 2019 Public Transportation Factbook
2019 - Every dollar invested in public transportation generates an economic return of $4.00. 2019 Public Transportation Factbook
2019 - Since 1997, there has been a 21% increase in public transit ridership. 2019 Public Transportation Factbook
2019  - Public transit employs about 430,000 people.  2019 Public Transportation Factbook
2019 - 77% of Americans think public transportation is the backbone of a multi-transit lifestyle 2019 Public Transportation Factbook
2018 - 99% of fixed route and 91% of demand response services are accessible. 2019 Public Transportation Factbook
2018 - Robust funding in public transportation leads to $66 billion in business sales per year.  Where Public Transportation Goes, Community Grows
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)
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



2018 - Transportation and transportation-related industries employ over 14.5 million people, accounting for 10% of US workers. BTS Transportation Facts
2016 - Transportation services contributed $1,066.9 billion, or 5.6%, to U.S. Gross Domestic Product. BTS Transportation Facts


Citizens for Modern Transit

2019 - A $10 million investment in public transportation results in a $30 million gain in sales for local businesses. Benefits of Transit
2019 - 80% of Americans believe that increased investment in public transportation strengthens the economy, creates jobs, reduces traffic congestion and air pollution and saves energy. Benefits of Transit
2019 - An estimated 14 million Americans ride public transportation each weekday. Benefits of Transit
2019 - Public transportation produces 95% less carbon monoxide, 90% less volatile organic compounds and about 50% as much carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide per mile compared to private vehicles. Benefits of Transit



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
2017 - Americans take 10 billion trips on public transportation annually. 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


Georgia Institute of Technology

2019 - A 1% increase of frequent public transit riders in a county population is estimated to decrease the county population obesity rate by .473%. Is Promoting Public Transit an Effective Intervention for Obesity?


Harvard School of Public Health

2020 - A public transit, walking and biking infrastructure can reduce CO2 emissions by 25%. Health Benefits of TCI Policy Scenarios



2019 - 73% of American's believe high quality national transportation systems are important to economic prosperity and quality of life.  America THINKS: The Imperative for a National Transportation Policy


National Association of Realters

2020 - 56% of people feel that having public transit nearby is a very important or important factor in deciding where to live. National Community and Transportation Preferences Survey



2018 - Rural transit agencies provided 496 million miles of service and 28 million vehicle hours of service
Rural Transit Fact Book

2018 - Tribal transit agencies provided 20.9 million vehicle miles of service and 971 thousand vehicle hours of service, operating 1,008 vehicles. Rural Transit Fact Book

2017 - 60% of people would chose to ride public transit from near your residence to grocery stores, supermarkets, and health care facilities. Transit and Livability: Results from the National Community Livability Survey



2019 - Transportation employs over 13.3 million people. Transportation Statistics Annual Report
2019 - The proportion of adults aged 65 and older who are still in the workforce is double that of fifteen years ago. Transportation Statistics Annual Report
2017 - 86.3 million Americans and nearly 40% of the nation's-transit dependent individuals live in rural areas - 2.8 million people in rural areas do not own a car.  Importance of Rural Transportation
2017 - Transit ridership reached 10.1 billion, and buses recorded the highest share of transit trips at 50%. Transportation Statistics Annual Report
2017 - The amount of driving declined 19% in rural areas. Transportation Statistics Annual Report
2016 - The transportation sector accounted for 8.9% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ($1.66 trillion) and 9% of the U.S. labor force. Transportation Statistics Annual Report
2016 - More than 1,500 rural and tribal government transit agencies offer transit service. 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 November 12, 2020