Studies of many existing rural public transit systems in Canada and the U.S.A. have established that transit is a powerful economic stimulant, almost invariably conferring indirect benefits that outweigh the direct subsidy cost. Thus public transit is an investment, not a burden.
In particular, a study for the U.S. Department of Transportation in 1999 of twenty-two rural public transit systems showed a Benefit/Cost ratio ranging from 1.0 to 3.0. This is a link to the report. A 2007 consultant report in Quebec showed similar results for small systems operating in that Province.