Pew Poll: Most Americans Want More Transit Investment

A new Pew Research Center study on political preferences includes polling data that show almost three-fourths of Americans favor more spending on public transportation:


Column one indicates responses for all those surveyed. Columns two, three and four show responses among those who identify as Republicans, Democrats and Independents, respectively. The poll was taken last February.

Other polls cited in the study show that Americans favor drilling for oil in the Arctic Wildlife National Refuge (50-43 percent) and believe developing new sources of energy is more important than protecting the environment (60-34 percent) — though 73 percent believe global warming is a very serious or somewhat serious problem.

More questions and responses after the jump. You can download the entire report here.


  • Alex B.

    The public sentiments here show the disconnect the public has on many energy issues.

    For example, the poll shows broad support for increased funding for transit, wind and solar power, ethanol, etc. It also shows support for better fuel efficiency.

    However, there’s adamant opposition to the gas tax (granted, the question was phrased in terms of conservation by taxation, not as revenue).

    So, we’re all for spending more money on A, B, and C, but opposed to generating revenue to fund those items by taxing gas, despite the fact that higher fuel prices will be complimentary to all of those policies.

    At the same time, we’re willing to embrace efficiency in cars – efficiency that will erode the effectiveness of the gas tax that we’re not raising.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The public sentiments here show the disconnect the public has on many energy issues.”

    The public views are consistent if expressed this way: people want something for nothing, and are willing to sacrifice the future for everyone to get what they want for themselves now.

    When the Chinese, Arabs and Russians stop lending us money so we can spend more than we can produce, it’s going to be quite the shock for this generation of Americans. Read my latest post on Room Eight on the values of the generations now in change. It’s the big picture of which the issues discussed on this blog is just a part.

  • lee

    I wonder what the response to the following question would be:

    “Should funding for mass transit be increased at the expense of funding for streets and highways?”


    “Compared to current funding levels for streets and highways, funding for mass transit should be: higher than funding for highways, lower than funding for highways, the same amount as funding for highways.”

  • It need not be a zero sum game, lee.

  • I’d like to agree with you, Susan, but it may have to be if people are unwilling to support raising more money for transportation spending (increased gas tax for example).


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