APTA recently released a study entitled, “Supporting Late-Shift Workers: Their Transportation Needs and the Economy”. The study showcases the needs of late-shift commuters and recommends steps transit providers and decision-makers can take to improve commuting options for this growing segment of the U.S. population. To view the report, click here. The study showcases the needs of late-shift commuters and recommends steps transit providers and decision-makers can take to improve commuting options for this growing segment of the U.S. population.
Many public transit agencies around the country operate late shift services but additional services are vitally needed, according to the study. Late-shift transit commuters earn an estimated $28 billion in wages and generate $84 billion in sales each year. Increased late-night transit access will result in access to opportunities for late-shift employees and increase the pool of workers for employers.
“The late-shift is a growing source of opportunity for the American economy. When public transit providers, private sector businesses and policymakers work together, late-shift transportation can be improved through increased funding, new public policy and innovative service,” said Paul P. Skoutelas, APTA President and CEO.
Some of the study’s proposed solutions for transit operators, business owners and policymakers include:
· Extend spans of service. Transit operators can make existing services more convenient and flexible by increasing operating hours.
· Establish programs dedicated to funding late-shift transit operations. Without new funding at the state and federal level, transit agencies are limited in their ability to expand services.
· Increase investment in transit system state-of-good-repair and shrink the backlog of deferred maintenance. Overall investment in transit infrastructure gives agencies more flexibility in their hours of service.
· Embrace innovative partnerships to meet late-shift mobility needs. Ride-matching services offer guaranteed rides home where fixed-route public transit might not be appropriate or attainable.
· Formalize frameworks to allow employers that benefit most to subsidize late-shift transportation. Create a standardized process for partnerships between transit agencies and the private sector will allow both to pool necessary resources to promote late-shift ridership and invest in more impactful public transit service.