April 4, 2003

American survey says 9 out of 10 believe traffic congestion has not improved

Washington, D.C. – When asked about traffic congestion, 95 percent of Americans said congestion they encounter during their daily travels, including commutes to work, has gotten worse or has not improved over the past three years, according to a survey released by AAA and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

The survey also showed that ninety-two percent of respondents believe it is either very important (71 percent) or somewhat important (21 percent) for their community to have both good roads and viable alternatives to driving.

The two associations sponsored the national poll to obtain current information on transportation choices and views on congestion. The survey provides important information for Congress as it considers surface transportation funding for the next six years.

According to the survey, ninety-one percent of respondents use a motor vehicle such as auto, light truck or motorcycle most often for their daily travel needs. People cited convenience and demands of work and family as the most important reason for this choice.

Twenty-six percent of respondents said they used public transportation in the last year. Among public transportation options, the bus was the mode most often taken (50 percent), followed by commuter rail (19 percent), subway (14 percent) and a combination of modes (17 percent).

Opinion Research Corp. conducted the national survey from March 21-24 for AAA and APTA. The survey sampled the opinions of 1,032 randomly-selected U.S. adults. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 3.1percent.

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