Survey: Metro Atlanta transit riders are employed, students

And not just riding buses and trains out of necessity


  • CL File/Joeff Davis
  • Less than one percent of respondents considered themselves ‘pantsless’

Results of a massive survey released today show that most metro Atlanta strap hangers are employed and in school and use public transit because... well, it makes more sense than sitting in a steel box for several hours every day.

The Atlanta Regional Commission polled more than 50,000 transit riders on the metro region’s seven different transit systems between October and January to learn more about their travel patterns.

Among the survey’s major findings, according to the ARC:

>> Public Transit Usage Is Significant in the Atlanta Area. The results of the survey show the region’s transit system facilitates more than 270,000 one-way trips per day, or more than 1.3 million trips during a typical five-day work week. This means the region’s transit system is having a significant and positive impact on traffic flow and air quality.

>> Public transit is important to the region’s economy. 72.8 percent of respondents are currently employed, and trips to/from work are the most frequent non-home destination for transit users in the region. In fact, 45 percent of all transit trips are between a person’s home and their work place. Without public transit, 64 percent of those surveyed would have difficulties getting to work because they do not have a car or their car is not available.

>> Public transit is important to education in the region. 31 percent of respondents are students, making colleges/schools the second most frequent, non-home destination. In fact, one in every 6.2 transit trips involves travel between a person’s home and a school, daycare or college. On a typical weekday, more than 40,000 school-related trips are completed on public transportation in the Atlanta area.

>> Many residents with cars and higher incomes are choosing to use public transit instead of driving. The results of the survey show that 10 percent of all transit users in the region have annual household incomes of $75,000 or more. Among those with annual household incomes of at least $75,000, 73 percent indicate they could have completed their trip by driving a car.

You can read the executive summary and complete survey at the ARC’s website.