Survey sheds light on transit ridership - Tucson News Now

Survey sheds light on transit ridership

The survey shows 48 percent of the transit riders are between the ages of 18-34. (Source: KOLD News 13) The survey shows 48 percent of the transit riders are between the ages of 18-34. (Source: KOLD News 13)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The 2016 City of Tucson On Board Survey of its transit systems shows people under 24 are the heaviest users of the Sun Link streetcar.

59 percent of the streetcar riders are between the ages of 18-24.

That's not a surprise because the streetcar was built with the University of Arizona and its students in mind.

"It's good to see that," said James McGinnis, chair of the RTA Transit Working Group.

While the students carry the passenger load, development along the streetcar line has recently topped a half billion dollars.

1,400 homes and apartments are either in the planning or construction phase.

Other findings of the survey which included nearly 8,000 riders, show that 54 percent of the Sun Tran bus riders do not have access to a car and 51 percent do not have a valid drivers license.

That information is useful as a marketing tool.

"Are we moving people who are using transit because they don't have another choice," McGinnis asked. "Are we serving people who may have cars who are making the choice to use transit?"

The answers to those questions will be used to determine future policy for the transit lines.

"One of the best ways to make transportation affordable is to make sure it can get them (riders) to where they're going," he said. "Obviously if you can't use public transportation to get to work, it doesn't do you much good."

The survey also shows about half the riders use transit to get home while just over a quarter use it to get to work.

The number of passengers is still lagging from last year's 43-day transit strike.

But it appears ridership from the younger generation is continuing to be strong.

The survey shows 48 percent of the transit riders are between the ages of 18-34.

Still an issue, a majority of Sun Tran riders, 78 percent, make less than $35,000 a year.

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