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WTOP Poll: Most area commuters would prefer public transit

Wednesday - 10/19/2011, 1:34pm  ET

WASHINGTON - Drive and battle terrible traffic or take your chances with public transportation?

A new WTOP Beltway poll, conducted by Heart and Mind Strategies, offers some revealing insight into the minds of local commuters.

The poll surveyed about 500 drivers who do not use public transportation. Of those drivers, half said if public transportation was available in their area, and the commuting time on public transportation was about the same as driving, they would make the switch to public transportation.

Moreover, nearly six out of every 10 drivers who currently do not use public transportation, said if public transportation were available to them, and the commuting time was shorter, they would leave the car at home.

Complete results from the poll:


If public transportation was available in your area and commuting time was about the same, would you drive or use public transportation?

Total Va. Md. D.C.
501 202 241 52
Drive 48% 42% 51% 61%
Use public transportation 50% 57% 46% 39%
Neither * 1% * -
I don't know 1% - 1% -
Refused * - * -


If public transportation was available in your area and commuting time was generally shorter, would you drive or use public transportation?

Total Va. Md. D.C.
501 202 241 52
Drive 39% 34% 41% 59%
Use public transportation 59% 64% 57% 41%
Neither * * 1% -
I don't know 1% * 1% -
Refused * * * -

The phone survey was conducted Oct. 10-13, 2011 among 641 U.S. adults ages 18 and up. The margin of error for a sample of this size is +/- 3.8 at 95 percent confidence.

Heart + Mind Strategies is a non-partisan market research consultancy based in Reston, Va.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All rights reserved.)