What We Learned from the Stimulus

Smart Growth America’s analysis of federal spending from 2009’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) show that funds spent on public transportation were a more effective job creator than stimulus funds spent on highways. Through the end of 2009, ARRA investments in public transportation produced almost twice as many jobs per dollar as investments in roads:

  • Every billion dollars spent on public transportation produced 19,299 job-months.
  • Every billion dollars spent on projects funded under highway infrastructure programs produced 10,493 job-months.

As Congress and the Administration discuss a possible jobs bill, the implication is clear: shifting available funds toward public transportation will increase the resulting employment.