On the Move

Transportation Planning and Public Transportation

Today, those who have long advocated for the use of alternative modes of transportation are facing an unprecedented opportunity. Since 2005, the amount that the average American drives has been slowly declining, especially among younger Americans. Although this was originally thought to be a short-term reflection of a poor economy, we now know that there have been fundamental changes in Americans’ attitudes and behaviors surrounding transportation. These changes result from a combination of factors, including higher gas prices, new licensing laws, improvements in technology that support alternative transportation, and changes in individual values and preferences. Between 1995 and 2011, public transit travel grew 34%–twice the population growth rate.

State departments of transportation, regional planning organizations, and local / regional transit agencies are increasingly using research to understand and stay ahead of this “new normal”. Quality research is necessary in order to develop and provide alternative transportation services, and build support for required changes to transportation policies and planning reforms.

NWRG literally wrote the book on how to integrate market research into transit management. Since our beginnings, we’ve worked with transportation agencies and their stakeholders—federal, state, regional, and local—to increase support for and use of alternative modes and keep people and businesses on the move.