Federal, state, and local transportation infrastructure spending creates $200 billion in economic benefits in California annually

Jul 28, 2021

Cal Cities sponsored report is accompanied by a new, searchable online database that generates customized reports and breaks down the economic benefits for each region.

The League of California Cities and a coalition of partners produced a first-of-its-kind report on the state’s transportation infrastructure and a related, customizable database demonstrating the economic benefits locally. Released in the middle of ongoing, federal-level infrastructure negotiations, the report found that upcoming spending on federal, state, and local infrastructure will generate nearly $200 billion in economic activity in California annually and will support 700,000 jobs per year. The findings make clear that the construction, maintenance, and operation of the state’s infrastructure network is a major economic driver that benefits all Californians.

According to the report, in the next 10 years, government investments in California’s transportation infrastructure will grow from $40.4 billion in 2021 to $52.6 billion in 2030. That equates to a return of $4.30 in economic activity for every $1 spent on infrastructure.

“This report underscores how strategic investment in transportation infrastructure creates strong ripple effects in our cities, including an increase in jobs, economic activity, and tax revenues, while at the same time ensuring equitable access to multiple transportation options for all Californians,” said Cal Cities Executive Director and CEO Carolyn Coleman.

The “Economic Impacts of Highway, Street, Bridge, and Transit Investment in California” is the first report to examine the impacts of transportation infrastructure spending on all sectors of the California economy, not just the transportation sector. The report uses a series of sophisticated models to quantify both the immediate economic activity from increased highway, street, bridge, and transit program spending levels in California and the longer-term user benefits that accrue from improving the transportation system.

The report takes all transportation revenue streams into account — local, state, and federal — and quantifies the economic benefits of these investments on California and local economies. Similarly, the online database can generate customized reports and break down the economic benefits in every county and region.

The research was conducted by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and released by Cal Cities, the California State Association of Counties, California Alliance for Jobs, and California Transit Association.