By Ryan McGreal
Published March 30, 2010
City-dwellers support additional funding for transit while people living in the rurals oppose it, right?
Wrong, at least in the United States:
a majority of rural and urban voters alike believe their home towns would gain from a local transit expansion, according to a new poll released today by the infrastructure reform group Transportation for America (T4A) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
When asked if increased transit investment would help their community, 69 percent of poll respondents answered in the affirmative, including 74 percent of suburbanites and 55 percent of rural residents. Those numbers decreased for a separate question that asked whether transit should get more federal funding, but a majority of voters from both suburban (59 percent) and rural (50 percent) areas remained supportive.
The poll also asked respondents how much they think should be the federal government's share of transit expenditures. The mean response was 37 percent, whereas the actual federal share of transit spending is 19 percent.
For those who point to high rates of driving as proof that most people want to drive, I offer the following quote:
David Metz of Fairbank Maslin Maullin Metz & Associates, one of two pollsters who worked on the survey, told reporters that its conclusion was clear: "Americans want more transportation options than they have today," he said. "The vast majority of Americans say they have no choice but to drive as much as they do and that they would like to drive less."
That would be America, the automotive capital of the industrialized world.