If you thought MARTA was “just” a transit system, think again, says recent press release.
A new study released by the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute estimated that MARTA is responsible for about $2.6 billion in economic activity every year and supports roughly 24,000 jobs – not only in the metro Atlanta region it serves – but statewide.
The 94-page study, “The Economic Impact of Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority on the Economy and Labor Mobility of the Region,” analyzed MARTA’s direct and indirect effects on the economy from 2007 to 2011 based on its operating and capital budgets, according to the transit system.
The institute’s team, led by Wes Clarke, Ph.D., used proven economic models that incorporated demographic and industry data from federal agencies including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau and the Department of Commerce.
Researchers determined that MARTA’s presence boosts economic efficiency because:
“…employers are more likely to find workers who meet their needs and workers are able to commute to jobs that pay a market rate for their skills.”
The study, which updated similar research conducted by the Vinson Institute in 2007, also found that:
- MARTA’s total budget generates at least $1.4 billion in personal income for Georgia residents, directly and indirectly.
- Half of all MARTA customers are commuting to jobs in the service region of Fulton and DeKalb Counties and the city of Atlanta.
- Workers who rely on MARTA for work commutes hold jobs in 14 of the 18 fastest growing industry sectors in Atlanta such as retail trade, health care, professional/scientific technical services, wholesale trade, monetary and credit services.
A PDF version of the full report is available at www.itsmarta.com.