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October 9, 2008

Public Transit Usage is Rising in America


Metro Railway


A U.S. mational survey shows that rather than wait for an electric car or better biofuels, millions of Americans are saving money and time by switching to public transportation.

According to this new nationwide survey commissioned by the HNTB Companies, 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.

(The HNTB Companies is an organization of infrastructure firms. The three operating companies of HNTB Companies include HNTB Corporation, a transportation, engineering, planning and construction management firm; HNTB Architecture Inc., whose design professionals provide services to the buildings market; and HNTB Federal Services Corporation, which provides federal-sector clients diverse infrastructure services.)

"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," said Peter Gertler, vice president and national director of public transit services for HNTB Corporation.


Public Transit


Nearly one in three Americans (32 percent) said their biggest motivator to choose public transportation over driving would be high gas prices. While conventional wisdom holds Americans would find it frustrating to give up the convenience of a car, the survey found the second most popular reason someone would choose public transportation over driving is more convenience (14 percent). Avoiding traffic (5 percent) was a distant third, followed by concern for the environment (4 percent).

"For more than 50 years, the automobile has ruled the transportation landscape," Gertler said. "Our interstate highways are aging and under tremendous strain, and we're seeing the costs of an unbalanced transportation system. Now more than ever we need to invest in multiple modes of transportation that address modern demands and preserve our quality of life."


Public Transportation


Gertler cited several benefits in a balanced approach to transportation that includes public transit:

Saves time and conserves fuel -- 541 million hours and 340 million gallons, according to the Texas Transportation Institute's 2007 Urban Mobility Report.

Saves money -- Americans living in areas served by public transportation save $18 billion annually in congestion costs.

Promotes cleaner air -- Public transit usage reduces U.S. carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons a year, equivalent to the electricity used by 4.9 million households.


Bus ride


Measuring transit trends across the country, the survey also found:

• More than twice as many men as women (15 percent versus 7 percent) say they're using public transit more often than a year ago.

• Young Americans are making the transition in greater numbers. Nearly one in five adults ages 18-34 have increased their public transit usage in the last year (19 percent); that's more than twice the number of Americans ages 35 and up who can make the same claim (8 percent).

• The average American who has public transportation available to them uses it once a week, in effect giving their car the day off.

• Nearly four in ten Northeasterners (38 percent) use public transportation, more than any other region in the country.

• Southerners, however, have fewer options. One in ten says they do not have public transit where they live or work.

Source: HNTB Companies

|GlobalGiants.com|


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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 10:06 AM | Link to this Post






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