Management & Operations

Survey finds cost effectiveness, productivity most appreciated benefits of public transportation

Posted on November 17, 2015

AC Transit
AC Transit

With U.S. public transportation user estimates now numbering more than 158 million people, or two-thirds of Americans ages 18 and older, the most frequently cited reasons among those who have ridden public transportation in the last 12 months instead of driving are cost-effectiveness (38%) and increased productivity or relaxation (37%), according to a new national survey by HNTB Corp.

The latest America THINKS survey, “Why Americans use public transportation,” finds that transit users in the last year have taken this option over driving because it is more convenient (30%), reduces their carbon footprint (23%), is quicker than driving (20%) and safer (16%). And, 20% took public transit because they don’t enjoy driving.

“People increasingly recognize the value delivered by public transportation,” said Michael Townes, HNTB’s transit sector market leader and sr. VP. “Our nation’s most successful and livable cities have healthy public transportation systems. Americans want more from public transit. They want a modern, effective system that meets their needs today as well as into the future.”

Location, location, location

The America THINKS survey found that having public transportation stations in close proximity to their homes impacts the nation’s day-to-day mobility decisions such as how often they use public transit (42%), how often they decide to drive (33%), where they shop (22%), where they go for entertainment or culture (18%), and where they choose to live (17%).

“Public transportation is a vital factor people use to determine where and how they choose to live, work and play,” Townes said. “The ability of our public transportation network to keep pace with this increasingly strong, growth-oriented demand will require public and private investment in the infrastructure that will support it.”

Fifteen percent of all respondents say proximity to public transit would impact where they choose to work, while more respondents aged 18 to 34 than those 35 and older (23% vs. 11%) agree that nearby access to public transit would affect where they choose to work. Other impacts Americans cited are frequency of visits to friends or family (14%) and how much they would be willing to spend to buy or rent their homes (10%).

At the same time, people who have access to public transportation where they live said inconvenience (42%) and lack of speed (33%) are most common reasons that kept them from using this mobility option in the past 12 months.

What’s in it for me?

While so many Americans now use public transit, such as bus, streetcar, light and passenger rail, four in five (80%) say they could be motivated to ride even more. Nearly half (45%) of this group cite improved service reliability as an incentive to increase their use of public transportation. Other motivators are real-time schedule displays (38%), cleaner equipment, stations and restrooms (36%), Wi-Fi access (35%), reduced crowding (33%) and comfortable seats (30%).

Among those who use public transportation, when asked what they liked most about it, riders cite affordable cost (28%), being a passenger (21%) and ease of use (16%). At the same time, overcrowding (19%), lack of speed (17%) and inconvenience (14%) are qualities transit users like the least.

Americans also believe modernized features need to be implemented to better the nation’s public transportation. Features cited were improved transit equipment and stations (40%), new payment options (31%), added amenities (29%) and access to bike-sharing docking stations (14%).

“Transit agencies are struggling to find the capital needed to balance maintaining the state of good repair of their systems, and to meet ever-increasing demands from the public for improved service,” Townes said. “It’s time to bring alternative funding and financing to the table and change the process of how we finance, plan and deliver transportation projects. These investments will reduce congestion, enhance our economic growth and improve the quality of life for everyone.”

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

NY MTA upgrades My Alerts email, text alert system

Customers are now able to request service information at specific times of the day within 30-minute intervals.

APTA names new sr. director, government affairs

Andrew Brady most recently worked for retiring Rep. Richard Hanna (NY-22) as the deputy chief of staff and legislative director. He had previously served Rep. Hanna as a legislative assistant in 2011 and 2012.

L.A. Metro Board approves security enhancements on transit

Under the approved proposal, additional staff will be assigned to key hubs, rail stations and parking facilities in addition to safeguarding critical infrastructure.

Cubic opens global ops center for transportation services

The new center utilizes Cubic’s latest innovations, including cloud-based enterprise software, best-in-class service management tools and advanced analytics.

AC Transit develops open source software

Open Source is a global movement that has gained acceptance as a way to produce high-quality software without the cost associated with commercial solutions.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close