Survey: 70 million tourists will use U.S. public transit this summer

A view from the Miami Metrorail. Photo via City-Data.com
A view from the Miami Metrorail. Credit: city-data.com

New research from the American Public Transportation Association finds that 70 million people visiting cities this summer plan to use public transportation during their trip.

As the temperatures rise and schools close for the season, more than 126 million Americans are planning to vacation in a city this year – a 7 percent increase over 2012, according to the association, which said the improved economy is the reason for the increase in travel to cities.

The five most popular cities for travel this summer are New York, Miami, Chicago, Orlando and San Francisco.

The survey found that a majority in all age groups will take public transportation while on their city trip, but millenials are most likely to use public transportation while on vacation, with 73 percent indicating they would.

Major motivators for using public transportation included not having to worry about finding a parking space (73 percent), saving money on parking fees (69 percent), and not having to navigate a car within a new city (64 percent), according to the survey.

“With the economy on the rebound, cities are becoming a more attractive destination for the summer because they are close by and have a wide array of amenities,” said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy.  “A growing number of travelers are discovering that one of a city’s greatest assets is its local public transportation system.  These travelers are saving money while taking advantage of the local systems’ high-frequency routes which are designed to stop at the most popular spots and attractions a city has to offer.”

Forty-nine million city vacationers will use public transportation to sightsee and for restaurant dining and nightlife, 47 million to travel to and from their place of lodging, while 42 million will take public transportation to travel to and from the airport during their visit.

According to the survey, a growing number of people with incomes over $75,000 will rely on public transportation during their trip to a city and those traveling from all regions, including the South and Midwest will use public transportation during their city stay.  A majority of travelers with children (62 percent) will use public transportation during their city visit.

 


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