Public support for public transportation

Most Americans link increasing investment in public transportation to solving congestion and a better quality of life

provided by American Public Transportation Association

Four in five (81 percent) Americans believe that increased investment in public transportation strengthens the economy, creates jobs, reduces traffic congestion and air pollution, and saves energy, according to a new national poll conducted by Wirthlin Worldwide. The survey found that almost three-quarters (72 percent) support the use of public funds for the expansion and improvement of public transportation. Also, 64 percent said that they would be more likely to support a candidate for Congress who is favorable to improving public transportation options.

    Wirthlin Worldwide conducted the telephone survey February 12-16. It polled a random sample of 1,003 adults, 18 years of age and older, living in the continental United States. The American Public Transportation Association commissioned the survey.

    “These results show that Americans clearly are looking to public transit as a solution to the growing congestion crisis and are willing to pay for it. Most interesting is that these findings cut across all geographic locations: urban suburban, rural and small town areas,” said Dee Allsop, PhD., Wirthlin chief executive officer.

    Other key survey findings:

  • Traffic congestion is an important issue and most adults (56 percent) say that the need to reduce traffic congestion and the time it takes to get to work has become more important in the past five years.
  • Most Americans, even those living in rural areas of the country, agree that their community needs more public transportation options.
  • Regardless of geographic location, residents voice support for public transportation options and funding in their communities: urban (64 percent), suburban (59 percent), rural (51 percent), and small town (55 percent).

    “Americans see public transportation as a worthy investment for the country,” said APTA President William W. Millar. “This recognition comes at a particularly important time as the Congress prepares to reauthorize federal legislation governing federal surface transportation programs.”

    A summary of survey results are attached and can be found at Poll results were released at a press conference before bipartisan leadership of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in Washington, D.C.

    APTA is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 member organizations including public transportation systems; planning, design, construction and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; and state associations and departments of transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical public transportation services and products. APTA members serve more than 90 percent of persons using public transportation in the United States and Canada.