Public Attitudes Toward Transportation

Report No: 81-R42

Published in 1981

About the report:

A telephone survey of a thousand randomly selected Virginia residents found that the automobile was the most popular mode of travel, and that more work trips than trips for other purposes were being made by alternatives such as ride sharing, public transit, and non-motorized modes. While convenience and low cost were said to be the most important factors affecting modal choice, many respondents cited the lack of available alternatives. The data indicated that if public transit were convenient and cheap, people would use it. Among other findings were the following: (1) rail rapid transit appeared to be a more popular mode than the bus, (2) people would not oppose additional taxes for transportation if they derived direct benefit, (3) only about a quarter of the respondents said that moderate increases in the price of gasoline would induce them to use less of it, and (4) public transportation was seen to be more of a solution to the energy crisis than as a means of saving money.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Sharon Crowell, Michael A. Perfater

Last updated: January 22, 2024

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