TRANSIT: Survey reveals top reasons riders avoid public transit

Largest concerns include late arrivals, poor transfer service

Public Transportation News Governing magazine January 17, 2013
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A new study from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley found that the most popular reason for individuals to stop using public transit is unreliable service. At the same time, riders also seemed able to recognize when issues were beyond the control of a transit agency and its employees.


Public transit riders in the San Francisco area were surveyed for the study, with more than half indicating they had cut back on public transportation as a result of unreliable service. Onboard delays and delays at transfer stops were the most troublesome for riders; transfer issues in particular were twice as likely to make  


For the study, researchers broke the concept of “unreliable service” into several faces, including: late bus arrival; inaccurate arrival times listed by mobile apps; and overcrowding on buses and trains.


The most important factors for respondents were being picked up from their station in 10 minutes or less and being able to make scheduled connections easily. Overcrowding and finding a seat were of the least concern.


The results of the study were presented at the annual conference of the Transportation Research Board last week in Washington, D.C.

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