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Public Transportation

​We love our cars. In fact, a recent study found that America has more registered personal vehicles than licensed drivers!  But the economic and environmental benefits of using public transportation are indisputable. These benefits include significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, reduced traffic congestion, road and parking cost savings, improved mobility for non-drivers, greater sense of community, improved public fitness and personal health.

So what can municipalities do to encourage greater use of public transportation? Fare reductions (or free rides) during off-peak hours have been proven to attract new riders. Improved station and waiting facilities, clean equipment, courteous service, convenient scheduling and easy access to retail shopping areas have all been shown to increase ridership.

Train station sign

Partner with your public transportation provider to publicize town events, and provide incentives (reduced price tickets or free admission) to residents who leave their cars at home. Information about public transportation can be included in town communications. And of course any employer, including municipalities, can provide public transportation benefits to its employees tax-free.


The American Public Transportation Association was created by the National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates to represent grassroots transit coalitions and support increasing investment in public transportation.

Voices for Public Transit has produced a great video about the benefits of having public transportation in your municipality.


[1] Pucher, J., & Buehler, R. (2009). Integrating Bicycling and Public Transport in North America. Journal of Public Transportation, 12(3), 79-104.

[2] Ewing, R., & Cervero, R. (2010). Travel and the Built Environment. Journal of the American Planning Association, 76(3), 265-294.

[3] Saelens, B. E., et al. (2014). Relation Between Higher Physical Activity and Public Transit Use. American Journal of Public Health, 104(5), 854-859. 

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