Kaid Befield, Sustainable Communities Director at Natural Resources Defense Council (Earth’s Best Defense) has a brilliant blog-post about public-transportation’s many benefits to society.
Except that it under-counts public transportation’s benefits. Benfield has used American Public Transportation Association data, from a few years ago, to come up with some of the numbers. Numbers that since then have been superseded with new, more up-to-date analysis.
For instance, an APTA number that Benfield uses is that public transportation prevents 37million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Its a pretty big number, except that its still under-reporting. NY MTA, the largest public transportation agency in the US, providing about a quarter of all rides in America, prevents about 17 million metric tons. The national number, counting quite conservatively, is probably more like 70 million metric tons, or double of what Benfield cites.
Likewise the other data - all seemingly glowing - glow a little less than they accurately should. Given that he is trying to make a case for transit, there is no point being shy. Is there?