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Transit Survey Answers the Who and Why of American Transit Use

A new survey from TransitCenter surveyed 11,846 Americans on their transit use, living environment, upbringing, and personal characteristics.
September 20, 2014, 7am PDT | Maayan Dembo | @DJ_Mayjahn
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As reported on by Payton Chung earlier this week in Streetsblog USA, the new "survey found that Americans’ feelings towards transit and cities vary considerably by age, personal values, and whether transit provides a feasible travel option in their neighborhoods. Factors that don’t have much of an effect on transit use include having children at home, education level, having very high incomes, and the region of the country people inhabit."

Seconding previous research, the TransitCenter survey found that factors like living in transit-rich environments, and being employed or in school influence the likelihood of transit ridership, among other things. In addition, the TransitCenter survey found that transit riders "are likely to have grown up in neighborhoods with convenient transit, to be open to new things and experiences, and to want to remain productive while traveling. These motivations are almost as strong as more basic motivations, like relying on transit because no other options are available."

Moreover, the survey found that riders did not differentiate between bus, commuter train, or rail lines when making their mode decision. As Chung wrote, "it’s how people view the urban environment, more than the transportation mode itself, that leads them to ride transit or drive cars."

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Published on Thursday, September 18, 2014 in Streetsblog USA
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