Capital Area Transit, the public transportation authority for Cumberland and Dauphin counties, says its direct economic impact on the region is worth at least $16.8 million annually, and the spinoff effect could be much higher.
CAT purchased nearly $3.7 million worth of goods and services from Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry county companies since the start of last April, spokesman Robert Philbin said in a statement released late yesterday.
In that same time, CAT paid wages, taxes and benefits worth more than $13.1 million, according to the statement.
CAT said its impact on the region could be about four times as large if you include indirect benefits of its business. That multiplier is based on a study from the American Public Transit Association that made the business case for public transportation investment, according to CAT.
The transit authority said in a recent rider survey that 1.5 million of its riders, or 60 percent, use CAT buses to commute to work every day. About half of all riders use the buses to shop, visit the doctor, eat at restaurants, and visit family and friends.