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Smart Transportation Economic Stimulation

Bookmark and Share Report Misuse or Glitches

Publication Date: February 2009

Author(s): Todd Litman

Topic: Economics (Infrastructure)
Transportation (Transportation policy and planning)

Keywords: Economic Stimulation; Economic Development

Coverage: United States


This report discusses factors to consider when evaluating transportation economic stimulation strategies. Transportation investments can have large long-term economic, social and environmental impacts. Expanding urban highways tends to stimulate motor vehicle travel and sprawl, exacerbating future transport problems and threatening future economic productivity. Improving alternative modes (walking and cycling conditions, and public transit service quality) tends to reduce total motor vehicle traffic and associated costs, providing additional long-term economic savings and benefits. Increasing transport system efficiency tends to create far more jobs than those created directly by infrastructure investments. Domestic automobile industry subsidies are ineffective at stimulating employment or economic development. Public policies intended to support domestic automobile sales could be economically harmful in the long-term.


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