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Members of Voices for Public Transit know public transportation benefits everyone. We’re keeping it moving.

Join the Movement

Members of Voices for Public Transit know public transportation benefits everyone. We’re keeping it moving.

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Public Transportation Drives Innovation

Public transportation has been part of America’s history almost since the nation’s founding (think stagecoaches!). Innovation and technology have driven public transportation’s growth, expansion, and solidified its place as an economic driver. As just one example, public transit in the form of ferries and railroads spurred advances in steam technology.

Today, a range of innovative technologies and services are part of the public transportation sector’s vibrant economic supply chain, including:

  • Clean Technology — Public transit investment has supported advances in hybrid and electric vehicles, electric storage, biofuels, and more. These investments help reduce pollution and support jobs in renewable energy technology.

  • Safety Technologies — Safety technologies adopted by public transit may be seen as the precursor of autonomous vehicles. Collision avoidance systems, blind spot detection, and driver fatigue alerts have all emerged because of public transit investments.

  • Information Technology — Advances in IT and communications have improved public transit payment systems, scheduling, and vehicle control. You’ll find public transportation supply chain companies operating in tech centers like Silicon Valley, Austin, and Boston.

  • Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) — The public transportation ecosystem now includes TNCs, also known as rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft. Several public transit systems are partnering with TNCs to help riders travel the last or first mile of their trips.

Case Study: Cummins, Advancing Emission Reductions

With the support of the federal government, several public transit systems around the country have been investing in low- and no-emission vehicles. These investments pay off in the long term in the form of cleaner air and lower operating costs.

Engine manufacturing giant Cummins has developed hybrid and natural gas engines that produce fewer greenhouse gases than previous generations of engines. These cleaner engines are now found in public transportation buses around the country. In addition, truck fleets are also adding cleaner vehicles. Cummins has a roadmap for developing engines that run on renewable biofuels, and it is projecting a future where power can be generated by systems that combine natural gas with wind or solar power.

Most of Cummins U.S. administrative and manufacturing operations are not located in large urban areas. The company’s headquarters are found in Columbus, Indiana, a city of about 45,000 people located some 40 miles south of Indianapolis. Cummins is the area’s largest employer.

Public transportation around the country helps support Columbus jobs at Cummins. It’s a great example of how America’s public transportation sector supports jobs and economic opportunity in communities of all sizes.