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Report: 74% favor spending tax dollars for improved public transit

Posted on June 4, 2013

A new survey conducted by the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI), shows nearly 74% of respondents agreed to use of their tax dollars to create, expand and improve public transportation in their community.

The number of respondents increased from an already solid 69% of Americans in support in 2012 to nearly 74% in favor this year, according to “Americans Support for Public Transportation,” released at the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Annual Rail Conference in Philadelphia.

“We look forward to sharing these great results with Congress,” said APTA President/CEO Michael Melaniphy. “In most political circles, receiving nearly 74 percent in favor of increased investment would be considered a landslide.”

Eighty percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement public transportation investment can help create jobs and pave the way to a stronger economy. However, public transportation scores its strongest support when discussing access to opportunities. When asked about the affordable transportation options for people, nearly 88% of respondents agreed that public transit expands opportunities and provides access to new jobs and careers as well as to medical care, schools and colleges.

The survey respondents also sent a strong message to Congress about their growing support for increased investment. Sixty-six percent of respondents believe Congress should increase spending on public transportation. Compared to last year’s survey, that registers as a 5% increase in support from a year ago.

The association noted that the results for the survey were very consistent with the growing support on the local level. In 2012, 49 out of 62 public transit ballot initiatives were passed, which represents a nearly 80% passage rate.

The survey by MTI was a result of 1,501 telephone interviews with individuals across the U.S., and the margin of error is minus 2.53 percentage points, at the 95% confidence level.

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