The Economic Impact
of the Miami Valley Regional Transit
Authority on
Montgomery County

The Economic Impact of the Miami Valley Regional Transit Authority on Montgomery County

RTA's local contributions are much broader than moving people from point A to point B. RTA is contributing to the economic vitality of the region every day by taking people to work, schools daycare, shopping, and other activities. RTA provides low cost basic mobility for people who cannot afford a car, or persons who cannot operate autos because of disability or age, including children and senior citizens. For many of the region's residents, RTA is the link to work, job training and hope. RTA helps its customers to maintain active healthy, and independent lives.

The transit rider is not the only beneficiary of local transit service, however. A May 1995 study, conducted by the University of Dayton Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER), demonstrated that RTA produces substantial economic benefits for all Montgomery County residents, both as an employer and as a provider of a critically important service. (The economic benefits of the RTA Project Mobility service and the important role it plays in providing access to jobs, shopping and health care to individuals with disabilities was beyond the scope of this study.

RTA as an Employer

RTA employs nearly 700 people, 85 percent of whom live in Montgomery County, and the money spent by these employees in Montgomery County generates approximately 327 jobs. In addition, RTA procurements in the County generate approximately 30 jobs.
In all, RTA generates:

  • 985 jobs
  • $31.3 million in net economic activity in Montgomery County
  • Charitable and volunteer activities

RTA as a Service Provider

The CBER study found that if there were no RTA, approximately 2,300 people would be unable to get to jobs. The resulting loss of employment would cost this community approximately $49 million in lost wages and additional welfare payments. The CBER study also indicated that RTA saves this community approximately $14.6 million in additional transportation related expenses and another $13.5 million in costs associated with pollution, congestion and motor vehicle accidents. The study noted but was unable to quantify the value to our community of providing personal control and independence for the transportation disadvantaged, and the value of having transit services available for those who may choose it under certain circumstances. And the benefits of the RTA Project Mobility service were not quantified. Very conservatively then, the RTA fixed-route service provides at least $77.3 million in net economic benefits to Montgomery County residents each year.

Clearly, the RTA mission and contribution extend beyond just moving buses. RTA carries out important goals relative to the environment, linking persons to jobs and job training, helping persons with disabilities become more independent, and improving the quality of life for all Montgomery County residents. The RTA is a good value for the investment, returning benefits far in excess of cost.

Annual Economic Benefits from RTA Operations

$49,148,481 Avoided job loss and welfare payments due to available public transit
$14,660,789 Avoided motor vehicle operating costs and transportation fees
$6,793,573 Avoided pollution and congestion costs due to RTA
$6,668,067 Avoided motor vehicle accident costs
? Benefit of increased mobility and independence for transportation disadvantaged
? Reservation demand of residents for public transit
? Benefits of Project Mobility service for individuals with disabilities
>$77,270,919 Total net benefits from RTA operations

Characteristics of RTA riders and Trips

9% of Montgomery County residents use RTA in an average week
$727,327,927 Aggregate annual personal income, RTA riders
$282,677,440 Aggregate personal income of RTA riders who ride at least 5 times per week
23,252 workers take RTA to work in a given week
63% of RTA trips in a week are journeys to work
80% of RTA weekly trips are taken by people 18 to 64 years
4,455 people use regular RTA routes in an average week for medical appointments
73% of RTA riders have household incomes below the median
6,050 riders would not be able to make it to their current jobs if RTA was unavailable
2,300 riders would be 'somewhat or very unlikely' to find other work


Last modified 03.14.97

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