Press Releases | Budget Taxes and Public Investment

News from EPI Los Angeles rail project illustrates that public investment creates jobs, says EPI report

For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 21, 2012
Contact: Phoebe Silag or Karen Conner, news@epi.org 202-775-8810

Los Angeles rail project illustrates that public investment creates jobs, says EPI report

The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority is expanding its regional transit rail service with a $1.1 billion investment in new rail cars through 2019. A new report by the Economic Policy Institute, Assessing the economic benefits of increased investment in Los Angeles’s public transit infrastructure, calculates the investment will create over 500 jobs in the Los Angeles region – a positive step, but short of the 1,400 projected regional jobs that could have been made by alternate producers.

“Los Angeles’ project shows the promise of public investment if it is done right,” said the report’s author, EPI economic analyst David Cooper. “Policymakers in municipalities throughout the country and in Washington should take notice of the job-creating potential of public investments like this one in L.A.”

The Los Angeles region’s unemployment rate is 10.9%, compared to the national average of 8.2%. Recent reductions in the unemployment regional rate are due entirely to individuals dropping out of the labor force.

Angelenos will also benefit from the better quality of life that comes from expanding mass transit in one of the nation’s most congested highway systems. Drivers in the region have the second-highest vehicle operating costs and some of the highest travel times of any U.S. region as a consequence of roads in poor, overused conditions.

The expanded rail service will reduce traffic congestion, raise residential and commercial property values, and help give low-income job seekers access to job markets outside of their immediate communities of residence.

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