Washington, D.C. – As the U.S. Congress deliberates on investments in the nation’s infrastructure, 74 percent of Americans say Congress should increase spending on public transportation, according to a survey directed by the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) National Transportation Finance Center along with its Social Science Research Center (SSRC) serving as the data collection agent. The survey, which was conducted for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), shows that 80 percent of Americans support use of their tax dollars for creating, expanding, and improving public transportation in their community.
“Americans understand that investment in public transportation is an essential element to help their communities grow,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “Public transit garners this overwhelming support because it is an important link to connect employees to jobs, customers to businesses, and to the things that improve peoples’ quality of life.”
Eighty percent of Americans say public transportation is important to communities because it helps businesses flourish, by bringing both workers and customers to businesses, according to the MTI survey. In addition, of those surveyed, 80 percent said public transit is valuable to communities because it provides people with vital connections to fundamental resources such as jobs, schools, and medical facilities.
The nation’s support for public transit continues as Americans have more mobility options such as car and bike sharing apps; and as other multi-transit opportunities evolve, according to the data. Seventy-five percent of Americans say public transportation remains an important option for daily commuters concerned with issues of costs and traffic, according to the research.
APTA officials note that this survey is proof that there is agreement among the public and both Houses of Congress to increase investment in public transportation.
In fact, 2018 is an historic year because the U.S. Congress appropriated, and the President signed into law, $13.5 billion for public transit investment and $2.8 billion for intercity passenger rail grants. This amount exceeded what was authorized in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.
“We are hopeful that this bi-partisan effort will continue,” added Skoutelas. “The U.S. House and the Senate have each introduced a bill for their 2019 budget that continues on the path of providing an increase beyond what was authorized in the FAST Act for the coming fiscal year.”
The MTI National Transportation Finance Center directed the survey for APTA and its SSCR collected the data. The survey consists of a total of 1,201 interviews with individuals across the United States. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.83 percent, at the 95 percent confidence level. For more information, go to www.apta.com/MTI
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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organization which represent a $68 billion industry that directly employs 420,000 people and supports millions of private sector jobs. APTA members are engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products.