Thursday, June 14, 2012

Study Finds Bicycling Infrastructure Projects Create More Jobs Per Dollar Than Road Projects

Want to create jobs with transportation money? More of this.
From the Department Of Stuff We're Glad Somebody's Studying comes this report from the Political Economy* Research Institute at University of Mass Amherst.

In short: some smart people measured the impact on employment caused by transportation projects involving various combinations of bicycle, pedestrian, and road infrastructure. They found that bicycling-only infrastructure projects created the most jobs per $1 million spent.

From the abstract:
In this study we estimate the employment impacts of building and refurbishing transportation infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians. We analyze various transportation projects and use state-specific data to estimate the number of jobs created within each state where the project is located....
And more:
We evaluate 58 separate projects and present the results by project, by city, and by category. Overall we find that bicycling infrastructure creates the most jobs for a given level of spending: For each $1 million, the cycling projects in this study create a total of 11.4 jobs within the state where the project is located. Pedestrian-only projects create an average of about 10 jobs per $1 million and multi-use trails create nearly as many, at 9.6 jobs per $1 million. Infrastructure that combines road construction with pedestrian and bicycle facilities creates slightly fewer jobs for the same amount of spending, and road-only projects create the least, with a total of 7.8 jobs per $1 million. On average, the 58 projects we studied create about 9 jobs per $1 million within their own states. If we add the spill-over employment that is created in other states through the supply chain, the employment impact rises by an average of 3 additional jobs per $1 million.
You can read the full 16-page report for yourself here.

*We assume that UMass Amherst's study of political economy is more nuanced than Mark Twain's priceless take on the topic.


Josh said...

Cool, but I struggle with the idea that infrastructure is ever justified as a job creator. We should just build the project because we need it, regardless of job numbers.