In October 2009, Duke University released new research findings on the potential for public transportation investments to spur job creation and expand U.S. heavy-duty equipment manufacturing. The Duke study found that approximately 36,000 jobs were created for every billion dollars invested under current federal transit spending policy – 71 percent for operations and 29 percent for capital. A large share of these jobs are associated with high-value supply chains that are involved in transit manufacturing and infrastructure.

The bus industry alone employs 25,000 to 33,000 in domestic manufacturing of transit buses. The value chain includes raw materials through final assembly and employs component makers of engines, transmissions, windows, lighting, seating and flooring. These jobs share skills with other motor vehicle industries, helping to maintain a diverse supplier base. The bus manufacturing value chain involves both small and large manufactures across the nation, including hard-hit industrial states such as Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

The bus industry also has been an important early adopter of advanced vehicle technologies. An estimated 32 percent of U.S. transit buses run on alternative power sources (other than conventional gasoline or diesel engines) such as compressed natural gas, diesel electric hybrid, all electric, hydrogen electric hybrid, and hydrogen fuel cell.

The Environment and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a Congressional briefing on Thursday, January 14 to further discuss the job creation and economic development impact of public transportation investments. Speakers include Marcy Lowe, Research Associate, Duke University; Michael Pracht, President, U.S. Railcar LLC.; David McLaughlin, Vice-President, American Seating Company; Tom Webb, Director, Business Development, BAE Systems; and Carol Caruso, Senior Vice-President, Greater Cleveland Partnership.