Investment in public transport returns £4 for every £1 invested

  • A new Economic Impact Report has found that investment in public transport generates £4 in the wider economy for every £1 invested.

    Public sector bodies are always on the lookout for long-term investment plans that can yield significant returns for the economy, trying to get the biggest impact for every pound invested in a scheme or project. Findings of new research into the economic impact of public transport were announced at an event in Northern Ireland this week to kick off Bus + Train Week.

    The research was carried out by Grant Thornton on behalf of Translink, and the full report will be available in a few weeks. Some interesting headline figures from the report were announced at the event, including the fact that investment in public transport yields a 4:1 return to the total economy and impacts on practically every industry we have in Northern Ireland.

    The total GVA impact of public transport was estimated at over £185m annually, with over 6,000 jobs supported directly or indirectly by Translink. A survey carried out to delve into the question of public transport use found that 53% of respondents believed public transport was important for accessing employment opportunities in Northern Ireland.

    Around 22% of NI households have no access to a car and rely solely on public transport, and 63% of those surveyed believed that public transport was important for socialising and staying in touch with friends. In addition to collecting £220m in direct turnover, the GVA impact was measured at £102m direct impact and £82m indirect and induced impact.

    Those using public transport to travel in order make retail purchases spend an average £46 throughout a trip, showing the importance of public transport for getting people into places such as the city centre where they can spend to boost the local economy. Those using public transport for leisure or socialising spent an average of £50 per trip, indicating how vital public transport is for the hospitality sector.

    Translink CEO Chris Conway welcomed the report, saying: "This report provides concrete evidence of the vital role public transport plays in Northern Ireland. As the research acknowledges, the draft Programme for Government already recognises the important role of public transport in supporting the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the region. Public transport represents an efficient use of resources and makes our towns and cities more competitive and more attractive places to live, invest in and visit."

    Source: Written based on press release

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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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