Older, Higher-Income People Less Likely to Use Mass Transit, Study Finds

By For, Along | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), August 3, 2014 | Go to article overview

Older, Higher-Income People Less Likely to Use Mass Transit, Study Finds


For, Along, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


A new study of public transportation use in the St. Louis market found that older residents those 60 and over and higher-income people were less likely to board public transportation, and that potential riders were scared off by high traffic speeds and the perception of neighborhood crime.

The study, titled "Correlates of Walking for Transportation and Use of Public Transportation Among Adults in St Louis, Missouri, 2012," also concluded that those who took public transportation at least once the previous week were more likely to have achieved suggested levels of physical activity than those who didn't.

Researchers from the Brown School at Washington University sent surveys to 2,898 households and collected 772 responses. The study was released last month and is posted on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. The Metro transit agency operates public transportation in the study area.

The report states that walking at the beginning or end of a transit trip provides "opportunities for meeting recommended levels of physical activity" at a time when only half of U.S. adults get enough activity. But the study also concluded that someone's decision of whether to use transit in an urban environment will be shaped by the perception of high crime and the speed of traffic sharing the road, the study found.

"We found that perceived environmental factors of traffic speed and neighborhood crime were negatively correlated with public transportation use in St. Louis," the researchers wrote.

In looking at the age, employment and education levels of transit users in the St. Louis market, researchers also found that people age 60 and older were less likely to use public transportation. Efforts to accommodate the aging population could include well-lit bus shelters with adequate seating and signage, and crosswalk signals that allow for slower walking speeds.

TOWER GROVE INTERCHANGE WRAPPING UP

From the blog: In a sign that the Tower Grove Avenue interchange is nearing completion on Highway 40, the Missouri Department of Transportation is reopening the Vandeventer Avenue ramps along the highway.

The Vandeventer ramp from eastbound Highway 40 (Interstate 64) was closed as part of the project to build a new interchange at Tower Grove Avenue, along with the ramp from Vandeventer to westbound Highway 40. Neither was rebuilt as part of the project but were closed because of the close proximity to the construction, said Deanna Venker, MoDOT's area engineer for the city of St. Louis. The Vandeventer ramp to westbound Highway 40 will reopen next week. …

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