What Transit Riders Really Want

Originally posted to citylab.com on July 12, 2016 by Laura Bliss.
A new survey of 3,000 riders finds frequency, speed, and walkability are key for satisfying, effective transit.

Sad but true: Not all officials who make decisions about public transit actually use public transit.

That disconnect can sometimes lead cities to make transit investments in things like downtown streetcars or wifi-equipped bus fleets. Those aren’t bad investments in themselves, but they’re not always conducive to truly effective transit. “The reality is, good transit is the same as it’s always been,” Steven Higashide, a senior program analyst at the transportation research foundation TransitCenter, said in a conference call Monday. “It’s getting someone where they want to go, quickly and reliably.”

A new survey analysis by TransitCenter confirms this. Based on the responses of 3,000 transit riders from 17 regions around the U.S., the report finds that there are three big things that make for satisfying and effective transit service: frequency, speed, and walkability.

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