Effective public transportation reduces traffic congestion. It connects workers to jobs, students to classrooms, and customers to businesses. For some citizens, transit is an economic lifeline. It provides access to employment, healthcare, shopping and other opportunities that are essential to good quality of life and being productive in society. While you may never ride public transit, chances are you depend on someone who does.
The presence of public transportation in Hampton Roads – and the potential of future transit investments to Connect Hampton Roads® with a more robust regional system – translates into direct, indirect and induced economic impacts and benefits for the region.
With support of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation and national experts at Economic Development Research Group, this year the first-ever study of regional economic impacts and benefits of transit in Hampton Roads was completed. You can read some key findings here, and find the complete study here.
With just over $100 million in annual transit operating and maintenance investments, Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) services today support over 20,300 jobs and $1.5 billion dollars annually in regional economic output (includes direct, indirect and induced).
Transit’s role is evident across multiple sectors of the economy. This includes higher education, hospitality and tourism, healthcare, shipbuilding and repair, and niche industries like customer call centers. It also supports ongoing economic development and “placemaking” activities concentrated in areas like Downtown Norfolk.
- HRT services support over 20,300 jobs and $548 million in employment income across Hampton Roads.
- Transit supports a total of $1.5 billion in regional economic output (includes direct, indirect, and induced effects).
- Transit supports consumer spending of $93 million dollars every year in Hampton Roads.
- In 2015, HRT services allowed the region to avoid 45 million vehicle miles traveled on roads.
- If HRT services were not available, commuters would spend an additional $13.5 million on vehicle operating costs annually.
- HRT services provided more than $8.8 million in safety and environmental benefits to Hampton Roads in 2015.