Green Transport Jobs: Investing in Rail and Transit Manufacturing

high-speed railA mix of factors—economic crisis, climate change, foreign oil dependence, and overwhelming automobile reliance—has prompted many countries to expand urban transit systems and inter-city rail. Both transportation options have been neglected in the United States, in particular, after a long history of investing in massively subsidized new roads and highways. As investments in transit and rail rise, there is considerable hope that building these systems, in addition to manufacturing the required locomotives and rolling stock, will generate much-needed quality employment. But European and Asian companies have a considerable lead in this field and it will take a sustained commitment and a green industrial policy for the United States to catch up.

Worldwatch is carrying out research on these critical issues, as part of the Apollo Alliance’s U.S. Transportation Manufacturing Action Plan. T-MAP is designed to carry out research, engage stakeholders, and develop policy recommendations. Key goals are the expansion of U.S. domestic production of rail and urban transit vehicles and thus the creation of new, high-quality manufacturing jobs.

Worldwatch senior researchers Michael Renner and Gary Gardner are providing research assistance to T-MAP, working in conjunction with researchers at Northeastern University’s Dukakis Center and Duke University’s Center on Globalization, Governance, and Competitiveness. Worldwatch’s responsibility lies in generating scenarios for future U.S. investment in urban transit and inter-city rail, scoping the global rail/transit manufacturing industry, analyzing relevant policies of selected European and Asian countries and their applicability in the United States, generating employment estimates under selected scenarios, and producing a final report.

Project Leads: Michael Renner, Gary Gardner

Recent News and Publications:

Green Jobs: Working for People and the Environment

The Great Rail Race of the 21st Century in Green Economy blog