This story is part of The Salt Lake Tribune’s ongoing commitment to identify solutions to Utah’s biggest challenges through the work of the Innovation Lab.
All aboard — or maybe not.
It’s no surprise that U.S. ridership on public transportation dropped 81% in April 2020, according to the National Transit Database (158.5 million rides taken vs. 835.1 million rides taken in April 2019).
But even before COVID-19 shut down life as we knew it, people were taking fewer bus and train rides.
A Cato Institute report states that while public transportation took 13% of Americans to work in 1960, in 2018 it carried just 5%.
Between fiscal years 2014 to 2018, the report continues, national bus ridership dropped 12.2% and rail usage across the country declined by 2.6%.
In urban areas with populations of less than 1 million and of more than 5 million, rides on public transportation decreased by 7.2%. Areas with a population between 1-5 million saw the most significant drop of 12.5%.
The Cato Institute report lists a number of reasons for this decline, from expense and time issues to the simple fact that nearly everyone has a car.
The Salt Lake Tribune wants to know why readers choose not to use public transportation. While COVID-19 is a major factor in recent years, what other issues keep you off of busses and trains?
Fill out the survey below or go to https://bit.ly/3pbm6lA. Your responses may be used in an upcoming story.