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Members of Voices for Public Transit know public transportation benefits everyone. We’re keeping it moving.

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Members of Voices for Public Transit know public transportation benefits everyone. We’re keeping it moving.

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Public Transportation Brought to You by American Manufacturers

Public transportation’s economic reach is much greater than simply getting people from Point A to Point B and back again every day. It’s much greater even than the 400,000+ women and men who are directly employed by public transit systems around the country.

Public transportation supports a diverse supply chain that includes more than 200 manufacturers in more than 30 states. These companies include builders of rail cars and buses, as well as manufacturers of vehicle equipment and parts, such as electric systems, chassis, interiors, communications systems, and more.

While many public transit manufacturers and suppliers are located in large metropolitan regions, scores of companies are found in smaller cities and states with fewer urban populations.

Manufacturer Snapshot — ElDorado

One example of a small-town public transportation supplier is ElDorado, a manufacturer of light- and medium-duty buses. Located in Salina, Kansas, ElDorado is the largest manufacturer of 20- to 26-foot transit buses, which are used by smaller public transit systems and for paratransit.

ElDorado has been operating for nearly 40 years and, with the support of contracts from public transit systems around the country, the company was able to expand into a state-of-the-art plant in 2001.

Salina, the seat of Saline County, is a city of about 48,000, located about 81 miles north of Wichita, the closest metropolitan area. ElDorado is a major employer in Salina, supporting approximately 300 jobs.

Beyond Buses and Railcars

Public transit requires more than vehicles: stations, shelters, benches, fare and ticketing equipment, signage, and more, all have to be manufactured to support public transit operations.

Manufacturers and suppliers of equipment for public transit can be found in many states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, and Georgia. At least two shelter manufacturers — Austin Mohawk in Utica, New York, and Handi-Hut in Clifton, New Jersey — are veteran owned or founded.

U.S. manufacturing has strengthened in recent years, and public transit organizations have a wide choice of equipment made by American manufacturers. In addition, the federal “Buy America” policy encourages public transit systems to contract with American manufacturers. Federal government investments in America’s public transportation infrastructure are a great way to support American workers and manufacturers and stimulate local private-sector economic growth.