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In the dynamic landscape of our American communities, public transit stands as a cornerstone of connectivity, accessibility, and sustainability. Beyond the convenience of getting from point A to point B, public transit systems have a multifaceted impact that extends across various aspects of society. From job creation and economic growth to energy independence and community inclusivity, the benefits of robust public transit networks are diverse and far-reaching.

To create such an impact, they need proper funding. Behind the scenes, public transportation providers face the perennial challenge of balancing budgets to maintain and improve services. With ridership that has increased by 30% since 1995, a growth rate more than twice that of population, transits will need to continue to expand their capacity.

Public transportation providers typically derive their funding from a combination of sources. This can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific transit system. Some common forms of funding are fares and ticket sales, government subsidies, grants, and advertising.

ATA Outdoor Media’s specialty, selling advertising space on buses for over 30 years, represents an important revenue stream for the transits. By monetizing this otherwise untapped asset, substantial funds are generated to reinvest in the transit system. These funds can be used to offset operational costs or allocated towards various initiatives, such as upgrading infrastructure, expanding services, or implementing environmentally friendly technologies.

We take great pride in driving revenue for all the transits we represent. The lion’s share of all our sales goes right back to the transit to reinvest in the system. Advertisers are investing in public transportation with every ad contracted, therefore helping to boost the economy.

Here are a few impactful results that your advertising investments help to achieve: 

Job Creation and Economic Growth

One of the most tangible benefits of a robust public transit infrastructure is the creation of jobs. The development, operation, and maintenance of transit systems require a diverse workforce, spanning from mechanics and engineers to drivers and administrative staff.

Impact of Public Transit: 430,000+ people work for public transportation providers.

Moreover, public transit operations stimulate employment in related industries. From companies providing transit vehicles and infrastructure to those developing cutting-edge technologies for operations and advertising agencies raising operational funds, the transit industry relies on a vibrant ecosystem of private enterprises.

Public transit also injects vitality into the economy, generating a ripple effect of spending. Studies have shown that every dollar invested in or spent on public transportation yields significant returns, stimulating economic activity and fostering prosperity.

  • Business productivity gained from access to broader labor markets with more diverse skills, enabled by expanded public transit service areas.
  • Travel and vehicle ownership cost savings for people who can use public transit instead of other modes, freeing up funds to spend elsewhere.
  • Reduced traffic congestion for those traveling by car and truck, leading to direct travel cost savings for businesses and households.
  • Getting from point A to B to make and spend money on essentials, entertainment, shopping and recreation.
    • 87% of trips on transit directly benefit the economy.
    • 50% of trips are to and from work.
    • 37% of trips are to shopping and recreational spending.


Impact of Public Transit: 5-to-1 Economic Return.

Fostering Energy Independence and Sustainability

In an era marked by environmental concerns and the urgent need to mitigate climate change, public transit emerges as a critical tool for reducing carbon emissions and fostering energy independence. By shifting commuters away from private cars towards buses, trains, and other forms of mass transit, cities across the country can significantly decrease their carbon footprint and reliance on fossil fuels.

  • Over 6 billion gallons of gas are saved each year by using public transit.
  • Nearly 60% of all transit buses are either hybrid electric or powered by lower emissions alternative fuels, such as natural gas, propane, hydrogen, biodiesel, or electricity.
  • Carbon emissions reduced by 55% by using public transit over cars.
  • Over 23% of buses nationwide are hybrid electric.
  • Currently there are 1600+ zero-emission buses nationwide.

As cities embrace cleaner and greener transit options, they not only mitigate pollution but also pave the way towards a more sustainable and resilient future.

Serving All Communities Equally

Public transportation is more than just a mode of travel; it’s a lifeline for countless Americans. It plays a vital role in ensuring equal access to transportation for all members of society, irrespective of income, age, or physical ability. Transits help connect neighborhoods to important places like work, school, healthcare, and social services. Initiatives such as fare subsidies, paratransit services for seniors and individuals with disabilities, and community outreach programs ensure that public transit remains accessible and responsive to the diverse needs of communities.


The impact of public transit extends far beyond the realm of transportation, encompassing crucial aspects of social, economic, and environmental well-being. By creating jobs, driving economic growth, promoting energy independence, and serving all communities equitably, public transit stands as a powerful force for progress and prosperity.

So, whether you’re purchasing bus fare or investing in transit advertising, take pride in knowing that you’re contributing to the advancement of public transit and, in turn, building a more resilient, livable, and equitable world for future generations.


Statistics provided by:

APTA (American Public Transportation Association)

US Department of Energy

Federal Transit Administration









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