You may have seen mentions in the press of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s recently published “Regional On-Board Transit Survey”, which claims to be the largest such study ever conducted in the nation with over 50,000 participants. (Actually, I think I was one of the participants a while back.) Riders of MARTA and six metro area bus systems were surveyed.
As such, it’s a big dang report and a variety of Atlanta news outlets have been highlighting different elements of it.
Of particular note is the AJC’s rather odd chicken-or-the-egg perspective at the lack of suburban riders who utilize mass transit on Thursday. (See the map from the report above, which indicates where transit rider commutes began.)
I say, draw your own conclusions. Here are a few interesting summary tidbits ripped straight from the final report…
- VEHICLE AVAILABILITY: Over 40% of transit riders surveyed indicated that they have no access to a vehicle. Almost a third (32%) have access to one vehicle, and about 27% have access to multiple vehicles. None of the transit riders surveyed indicated access to more than 3 vehicles.
- VEHICLE ACCESS: Consistent with the vehicle availability question; over 40% of those surveyed have no access to a vehicle. Of the remaining 60%, over half said that they could have used an available vehicle for their trip – making them transit riders by choice.
- HOUSEHOLD EMPLOYMENT: Most (52.9%) of the transit riders surveyed are from households with 2 or more employed persons. Households with no employed persons represented only 8.6% of those surveyed. The most frequent responses were those for two worker households (39.3%), and one worker households (38.6%).
- EMPLOYMENT: Almost three-fourths (74.5%) of all the riders surveyed indicated that “Yes” they were employed. The remaining fourth (25.5%) of riders indicated that they were not employed.
- STUDENT STATUS: Slightly less than a third (30.6%) of all the riders surveyed indicated that they were students.
- AGE: Over 50% of those transit riders surveyed are between 18 and 34 years old; with those between 18 and 24 years old representing the largest single group at 26.3%.
- INCOME: The most frequently reported income category was $20,000 to $29,000 per year. The range of $30,000 – $39,999 was the second largest income range while below $5,000 was the third largest segment. Over a third of the transit riders (35.7%) have a total annual household income less than 20,000 while 12.6% had a total annual household income over $75,000.
- RACE: More than 70% of transit riders surveyed identified themselves as African American/Black. Almost 21% of riders surveyed identified themselves as White. Those identifying themselves as Asians, American Indians, and Other represented more than 8% of riders.
- ACCESSING TRANSIT: Almost three-fourths (72%) of those surveyed indicated that they got to transit for the start of their trip by walking; 11% drove a car and parked and 14% were dropped-off by someone else who drove a vehicle.
- COUNTY OF TRIP ORIGIN: Sixty-one percent (61%) of the transit trips in the region originated in Fulton County while 25% of the trips originated in DeKalb County. Five percent (5%) of the transit trips county of origin was Clayton County. Almost four percent (4%) of the transit trips originated in Cobb County and three percent (3%) originated in Gwinnett County.