Costs & Benefits of Public Transportation

In 2010 a study of Costs and Benefits of Public Transportation in South Dakota was commissioned by South Dakota Department of Transportation. Some of those highlights of the study are as follows:

Economic Activity

  • Transit contributed about $46.1 million to the South Dakota economy in 2010
  • For every dollar spent on public transit in South Dakota, the state generated $1.90 in economic activity
  • Transit is a major contributor to the state’s economy
Economic Impact Report – Community Transit of Watertown/Sisseton, Inc.
10/02/2021 – 09/30/2022
Trip Type Number of Trips Avg. Contribution Total Contribution
Medical 15,291 $100.00 $1,529,100.00
Employment 20,366 $72.00 $1,466,352.00
Education 21,929 $20.00 $438,580.00
Other 13   $0.00
Shopping 3,942 $50.00 $197,100.00
Recreation 2,662 $10.00 $26,620.00
Nutrition 268 $10.00 $2,680.00
    Total $3,297,514.00

Tax Savings

  • Employees can deduct $230 monthly from their paychecks on a pre-tax basis to pay for their commute by transit
  • Employers also save money since this benefit is NOT subject to payroll taxes

Job Activity

For every 10 jobs in the public transit – 3 additional jobs are created in supporting industry


  • More than 3 million trips are performed by public transits around South Dakota
  • Half of those trips (1.5 million) are in rural areas

Riding public transportation saves money for food, health care, housing and other needs – in 2010, out-of-pocket savings totaled $10.3 million for South Dakotans. Transit provides mobility to those who choose not to drive.  It allows them to remain in the community to participate in shopping, recreational and social activities, health care, educational and a full range of transportation needs throughout the community on a daily basis.

For full report and breakdown of statistical information please visit the SD DOT website: