11% of Americans… Something About Public Transportation

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
11 of americans 8230 something about public transportation

TTAC’s longstanding policy: remain skeptical about all surveys. Check the source, scan the methodology, parse the results, throw-up our hands and walk away. To wit: we’ve just received a press release from HNTB, a troika of construction companies that designs and builds airports, bridges, tunnels, toll booths, convention centers, sports stadiums. parking lots, libraries and… a couple of commuter rail stations. So I guess they’re expanding that last bit, because they want the world to know that “more than 24 million Americans — 11 percent of the adult population — are using buses, light rail, commuter rail and other forms of public transportation more than they did last year. An even greater percentage of survey respondents, 16 percent, said they expect their ridership to increase in the coming year.” Uh, how much more? And if this is the same group that was using public transportation before, what does that actually mean? Peter Gertler, HNTB’s national director of public transit services has the answer. “As today’s Americans face increasing demands on their time and money, riding public transit is shifting from something they should do, like eating their vegetables, to something they want to do.” Because of.. rising gas prices! Hang on; doesn’t that move public transportation back into the broccoli category? And here’s my takeaway: environmental concerns are at the bottom of the switch list, at just four percent. Of course, all that’s based on an emailed opt-in survey of 1000 “random” Americans. (I know exactly how they feel.)

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4 of 12 comments
  • R H R H on Oct 08, 2008

    Landcrusher> Even sporting events don't work that well. I have come out of wrigley field to get on the train and there is a 30-40 minute wait to stick your fair card in the turnstile....or I could take a taxi & be home in 15 min. FAIL again. The US either needs to invest SERIOUS $$ in public transport of give up on it. Doing it half as*ed makes it useful for very few people.

  • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Oct 08, 2008

    I hate public transportation. They need to stop subsidizing it and let it live or die on its own.

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Oct 08, 2008

    Chuck, I think my neighborhood was Denny-Blaine. I lived at 128 33rd (then north, now east), at the top of a hill, just north of Denny, I think. Glad to hear that sore spot is gone. David

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Oct 08, 2008

    Chuck, I found my old house using that link showing the lid. I was probably a bit less than two miles north of the Floating bridge, but very close to the lake, maybe a quarter mile in. One of the amazing things is that all the woods that were there then seem still to be there. David