Report: San Diego transit services boost regional economy

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12/13/2019

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SDMTS is responsible for nearly 13,000 jobs and $625 million in total personal income, according to a report from the Fermanian Business & Economic Institute.
Photo – SDMTS

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The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (SDMTS) generated $1 billion in positive economic impact for the San Diego region, according to a report from the Fermanian Business & Economic Institute at Point Loma Nazarene University. 

The report concludes that every dollar of public investment into SDMTS returns $2.82 in the form of jobs, infrastructure investment, productivity gains, environmental benefits and money saved by riders.

SDMTS is responsible for nearly 13,000 jobs and $625 million in total personal income. Those figures include capital spending, direct and indirect employment and service contracts, SDMTS officials said in a press release. 

The SDMTS, which operates three trolley lines on 53 miles of double-track railway and 95 bus routes, provides 300,000 trips each weekday to and from work or school. And with the U.S.-Mexico border a major economic gateway, transit service links workers living in Mexico with employers in San Diego, with about 19,000 bus and trolley trips serving the border daily.

Riders also saved an estimated $861 million on transportation last year, with most of those savings occurring for low-income families, who comprise a majority of SDMTS riders, officials said.

The report also examined SDMTS’ impact on reducing the region’s carbon footprint. By riding transit, riders helped lower the region’s greenhouse gas emissions by 97,000 metric tons, translating to $13.6 million in environmental savings.

SDMTS commissioned the study based on economic data from the fiscal-year ending in June 2018.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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