Title

RURAL TRANSIT SERVICES: A LOCAL ECONOMIC AND FISCAL IMPACT ANALYSIS

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1998

Subject Area

land use - impacts, ridership - old people, economics - revenue, economics - benefits, place - rural

Keywords

Subsidies, Senior citizens, School trip riders, Rural transit, Older people, Old people, Mobility, Local government, Georgia, Fiscal revenue impacts, Elderly persons, Economic impacts, Economic development, Economic benefits, Commuters, Aged, Accessibility

Abstract

Rural transit services are generally considered a tool to alleviate immobility for the elderly, the handicapped, and the carless and a form of income redistribution to them from society at large. But their economic impacts on local economies and governments are seldom realized and quantified. This study estimates two important transfer impacts of rural transit service on local (county) economies and governments in Georgia: the overall economic impacts and the fiscal revenue impacts. This study analyzed economic benefits of three major transit rider types in rural Georgia: elderly riders, work trip riders, and school trip riders. It found that rural transit services have a significant and positive economic impact on the local economy, indicating that, in addition to providing mobility and accessibility to the transportation disadvantaged, rural transit services promote local economic development. The fiscal revenue impact of rural transit service varies depending on the availability and the amount of federal transit subsidy. If the current level of federal transit subsidy continues, the fiscal revenue impact is positive and is larger than 1.0 for the state as a whole. It shows that providing transit service can bring positive fiscal revenues to local governments, realizing that some fiscal revenues are transferred from the federal government. Without federal transit subsidies, local governments would need to pay for all the costs. The revenue impact thus would become smaller yet still positive and greater than 1.0.