Americans Support for Public Transportation

Washington, DC — The survey for the America Support For Public Transportation was conducted for The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) by the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI).


A total of 83,725 call attempts were made to complete the 1,501 surveys, with an average of 3.24 calls per completed survey. Of the 1,501 completed interviews, 54.5% were conducted with women and 45.4% with men. The age range of respondents was wide, with a minimum of 18 and a maximum of 95; on average, respondents were roughly 54 years old. The vast majority of respondents self-identified as white and more than more than half had a Bachelor degree or higher (50.3%).

The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) is an organization established by Congress in 1991 as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act. One of the primary activities undertaken by MTI is conducting research in transportation policy and management issues. The Institute was interested in assessing the attitudes and opinions of US residents towards public transportation in their own communities and around the country. More specifically, MTI was interested in the respondent feelings toward current and potential future approaches to funding transportation projects. To collect the necessary data, MTI contracted with the Social Science Research Center (SSRC) at California State University, Fullerton.

Q1. Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose the use of your tax dollars for creating, expanding, and improving public transportation inyour community?

Support – 73.6
Oppose – 24.6
Do Not know – 1.7
Refused – 0.1

Q2. Every five years, the U.S. Congress reviews its spending priorities for transportation. All things considered, what do you believe Congress should do with the LEVEL of spending for public transportation? Should Congress significantly increase, slightly increase, slightly decrease, or significantly decrease spending for public transportation?

Increase – 66.1
Decrease – 24.4
Do Not know – 7.7
Refused – 1.8

I am now going to read you several statements. Please tell me if you agree or disagree with each one. (Questions 3-5 randomized).

Q3. As our country begins to recover from tough economic times, public transportation can be a solution and help pave the way to a stronger economy. Public transportation projects put Americans to work, revitalizing our communities.

Agree – 78.3
Disagree – 18.4
Do Not know – 1.9
Refused – 1.0

Q4. Public transportation provides affordable transportation options for people. It expands access to job and career opportunities, as well as to medical facilities and schools and colleges.

Agree – 87.8
Disagree – 5.5
Do Notknow – 1.6
Refused – 1.1

Q5. Public transportation saves 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline that otherwise would have to be purchased from countries that may be unfriendly to America. Therefore, public transit reduces our dependence on foreign oil and transitions America toward a more energy efficient economy.

Agree – 72.4
Disagree – 21.9
Do Notknow – 4.9
Refused – 0.8

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