Survey finds support for increased public transportation funding
Americans overwhelmingly support increased access to public transportation and safe walking and biking, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Washington-based Transportation for America campaign. The poll found strong support for increased transportation options and accountability for future spending across geographic areas and political lines.
More than four-in-five voters (82 percent) say that “the United States would benefit from an expanded and improved transportation system,” that includes rail and buses, according to the survey. Even in rural America, where there is much lower use of public transportation compared to urban areas, 79 percent of voters agreed with the statement. “In small towns and big cities alike, Americans are saying loudly and clearly that their lives would be better, and their nation stronger, if we had world-class public transportation and more options for walking and bicycling,” said Geoff Anderson, co-chair of the Transportation for America campaign and president and CEO of the campaign’s partner organization, Washington-based Smart Growth America. “If Americans themselves were crafting the [proposed federal] transportation bill, we would see a doubling of the share for public transportation, an ironclad system of accountability for restoring existing roads and bridges before simply building more of them, and a strong commitment to making all our streets safe enough for kids to bicycle to school or so seniors can walk to nearby restaurants or the drug store.”
A majority of voters believe current funding for public transportation is insufficient, with 58 percent saying more should be allocated toward bus, rail and other services. The desire to increase the amount of funding allocated to options beyond roads and highways was shared across demographic, geographic and political lines, including:
· 67 percent of residents in the Northeast, 58 percent in the West, 57 percent in the Midwest, and 52 percent in the South
· 62 percent of urban areas, 59 percent of suburbanites, 60 percent in small towns and 50 percent in rural areas
· 66 percent of Democrats, 59 percent of Independents, and 49 percent of Republicans
The bipartisan survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Download the entire public transportation survey.