APTA: Nearly two-thirds of adults would use high-speed rail

Posted on October 29, 2010

On Thursday, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) released the results of a large travel survey, which shows that nearly two-thirds of adults (62 percent) said they would definitely or probably use high-speed rail service for leisure or business travel if it were an option.

The survey was conducted for APTA by Synovate.  

"In most political circles, garnering nearly two-thirds support for a forward-thinking vision like high-speed rail would be considered a landslide," said APTA President William Millar. "We strongly support the government's commitment to implementing high-speed rail. It will provide more options for travelers, as well as create jobs and be a strong boost for the local economy."

APTA proposes that Congress invest $50 billion over the next six years in high-speed rail. The association says the investment during that time frame, along with $123 billion in public transportation investment, will help support and create 6.2 million jobs.

Convenience and saving money were key factors for whether travelers would choose high-speed rail service over other modes of transportation. When asked how important various factors would be in choosing high-speed rail service, survey respondents ranked the top four as follows: Shorter travel times compared to driving to my destination (91percent); less expensive than flying to my destination (91 percent); less expensive than driving to my destination (89 percent); and integration with local public transit so I can avoid use of rental cars, cabs and parking fees (85 percent).

Other factors the survey respondents ranked as important in choosing high-speed rail as a mode of travel: Shorter travel times compared to flying to my destination (80 percent); the experience traveling by train (79 percent); opportunities during my leisure or business trip to visit another city that is linked to my destination by high-speed rail (78 percent); and environmental concerns (75 percent).

Synovate, a market research firm, conducted the travel survey for APTA among 24,711 U.S. adults in late spring. Twenty-seven percent of the respondents said that they were not sure if they would use high-speed rail service while 11 percent said that they would definitely or probably not use the service.   

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