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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

U.S. public supports investing tax money in public transportation, APTA says


Nearly 74 percent of respondents to a recent survey by the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) indicated they would support using tax dollars to increase investment in public transportation, a sign that the American public increasingly supports efforts to improve and expand transit in their communities, American Public Transportation Association (APTA) officials announced yesterday.

The survey, released at the APTA Rail Conference being held in Philadelphia this week, showed the number of respondents who supported the use of tax revenue for public transpiration increased to 74 percent from 69 percent in a survey taken a year ago.

"We are experiencing this surge in support because citizens can see, touch and feel the economic impact of investing in public transportation," said APTA Chairwoman Flora Castillo during a press conference to announce the survey results.

"We look forward to sharing these great results with Congress," said APTA President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Melaniphy. "In most political circles, receiving nearly 74 percent in favor of increased investment would be considered a landslide."

The survey also found that 80 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that public transportation can help create jobs and boost the economy. In addition, when asked about affordable transportation options, nearly 88 percent agreed that public transit expands opportunities and provides access to jobs and careers, as well as medical care, schools and colleges, APTA officials said in a press release.

APTA officials also noted that the public is showing support at the ballot box for public transportation. In 2012, 49 out of 62 public transit ballot initiatives were passed, which represents a nearly 80 percent passage rate.

The MTI conducted 1,501 telephone surveys with people across the United States. The margin error is minus 2.53 percentage points