Almost nine in 10 Americans, 86%, believe government should help fund public transportation, according to the findings of a new HNTB Corp. America THINKS national public opinion survey.
While this belief is held most strongly among Americans living in urban areas (92%), 85% of suburban respondents, as well as 79% of those living in rural areas, agree.
According to the survey, Public Transportation in the U.S.-2018, support for government funding of public transportation encompasses every age group with 93% of millennials, 85% of Gen X respondents, 80% of baby boomers and 61% of seniors in agreement. In addition, Americans across the nation support government funding for public transportation, including 87% in the Northeast, 85% in the South, 83% in the Midwest and 88% in the West.
The HNTB survey defined public transportation to include ride-sharing services such as taxis, car/limousine services, car and van pools, online car services such as Uber or Lyft, bus and bus rapid transit, subways, street cars/light rail systems, and commuter rail systems.
HNTB’s America THINKS survey also found that more than eight in 10 Americans (83%) currently have access to some form of public transportation. For these Americans, the most prevalent option is bus and bus rapid transit available to 78% of respondents, closely followed by ride sharing at 74%. Commuter rail, street cars/light rail and subways were next at 24%, 22% and 14%, respectively.
Among those Americans with access to some form of public transportation, two in three (66%) have used it at some point, according to the HNTB survey. The survey found a majority of Americans (52%) believe the single most important benefit public transportation should offer is to help those who are not able to drive, with 62% of baby boomer respondents and 69% of seniors in agreement. Providing a safer way to travel was cited by 32% of respondents, while 31% cited more convenience access to everyday amenities.