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February 5, 2016

New Report Reveals Significant Economic Impact of Transit Expansion on Metro Atlanta Region

ATLANTA – The Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) and Georgia Transportation Alliance released an economic analysis of proposed MARTA expansion projects. The study, compiled by the infrastructure solutions consulting firm HNTB, reveals that for each dollar invested in transit, economic returns are quadrupled. Further, it projects that investment in three proposed projects – Clifton Corridor, I-20 East and GA 400 – could infuse $5.2 billion into the region’s overall economy. The transit expansions also could equate to 45,000 new jobs and $116 million in additional annual wages by 2040. While not included in the study’s projections, enhancements and service improvements to the MARTA system within Atlanta’s urban core is a fourth and vital component of this transit expansion effort.

The report, titled “Economic Benefits of Investing in Transit,” found that proximity to transit was an essential element for several recent high profile corporate relocations to the area. Kaiser Permanente, Mercedes-Benz USA and State Farm all made access to transit a key criterion of their relocation. To continue attracting corporations and top talent, Atlanta and MARTA must keep pace with peer cities, many of which have expanded their transit systems over the past decade. In the meantime, MARTA has not expanded its rail system since 2000.

HNTB found that congestion costs the average metro Atlanta driver $1,130 annually and that expanding transit is an effective solution to reducing the number of cars on the road. Out of the 100 largest metropolitan areas, Atlanta ranks 87th for share of the population that can reach the typical job in 90 minutes by transit.

“This analysis confirms what those in economic development have known for years,” said Dave Williams, MAC Vice President of Infrastructure and Government Affairs. “Employers and the top talent they seek to recruit want to live and work in urban areas with multiple transportation options.”

While the metro region would benefit directly from improved mobility, the state benefits from a robust economic engine that generates new revenue through business attraction and job creation.

“Georgia made a significant down payment on its transportation needs when it passed HB170 last year,” said Seth Millican, Executive Director of the Georgia Transportation Alliance. “Expanding transit options will leverage this investment, giving employers and employees more commute options and reduced travel times. No one wins when employees waste valuable time sitting in traffic.”

The report, “Economic Benefits of Investing in Transit,” can be found here.

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About the Metro Atlanta Chamber

The Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) serves as a catalyst for a more prosperous and vibrant region. To advance economic growth and improve metro Atlanta's quality of place, MAC is focused on starting, growing and recruiting companies to the 29-county metro Atlanta region. The Chamber is also focused on growing the region's innovation economy by promoting and strengthening connections to drive Atlanta's innovation and entrepreneurial culture. MAC is committed to being an active voice for the business community, serving as an advocate for a competitive business climate and telling Atlanta's story. For more information, visit www.metroatlantachamber.com

 

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