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15-Apr-2020 14:02:58
by James Gooch

Public Transportation Survey Finds Riders Rank Convenience as Their Highest Priority When Choosing Mass Transit

Today we are publishing findings from our latest survey report, Public Transit Research Report 2020: Key Factors Influencing Ridership in North America. The report sheds light on some of the behaviors affecting public transit ridership across the nation and explores the impact that new technologies and urban mobility services are having on the mobility ecosystem.


(Please note. We fielded this survey in the Fall of 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic. Given recent quarantine measures, public transit ridership has since decreased dramatically – in some places by as much as 60-100%. Around the world, we’ve seen transit (public transport) step up to this unprecedented challenge by maintaining vital services for our transit dependent community members and key workers.

Transit agencies and transport operators have responded to this emergency with incredible resilience, courage and focus and we want to take this opportunity to say; thank you.

While the data is not relevant to the current commuting trends, we firmly believe that public transit ridership will bounce back post-COVID-19 and that the trends we had unearthed in this survey will once again ring true. We may even see some of them accelerate at a faster pace. For example, we believe that there will be an even greater demand for fare payment solutions that limit physical interactions with cash and tickets.)


The survey findings

The report uncovered that only 500 of the 2,500 people surveyed actually had access to public transit and could provide responses. Of the people who do have access to public transit, 60% make use of transit services, denoting that when public transportation is available, adoption follows. But, because public transit availability is limited, the remaining population is forced to rely on private cars to get from point A to point B. The majority of riders with access to public transit (31%) rate convenience as their primary motivator for choosing to ride transit, over other factors such as price and speed. 


According to the survey results, more than 40% of riders are now combining ridesharing with public transit for full first-last mile journeys. As such, there is an opportunity for transit agencies to work with ridesharing and other shared mobility services to help create more seamless journeys for riders. Additionally, 16% of respondents say they now combine public transit and ridesharing to travel on at least a monthly basis. 


Additional key findings from the report include:

  • When convenient mobile ticketing solutions were offered, 13% of people either took public transit for the first time or started riding more often 
  • 12% of riders reported they would start riding public transit, or ride more often, if mobile ticketing became available to them
  • 33% of people with access to public transit believe their public transit service is improving in quality, while 88% believe their public transit systems are either staying the same or getting better
  • And, according to APTA, t​he average household in the US spends 16 cents of every dollar on private car usage and could save nearly $10,000 a year by taking public transportation instead


“Public transit plays a crucial role in helping to solve critical congestion, ecological and economic equality issues,” said Brian Zanghi, CEO of Masabi. “Innovative public transit agencies have proven that mobile ticketing, integrations with journey planning apps and collaborations with ridesharing companies help solve commuting challenges by increasing convenience and removing first-last mile problems. At Masabi, we're committed to helping more agencies enable seamless and convenient door-to-door journeys that help increase ridership.”


To see a full breakdown of Masabi’s survey results, please download the Public Transit Research Report 2020: Key Factors Influencing Ridership in North America



Masabi conducted an online survey in the fall of 2019 to a group of over 2,500 US residents across different age categories, geographies and gender. However, not all respondents had access to public transit services, so much of the data is based on the responses of the 500 US residents for whom public transportation is an available option.


About Masabi

Masabi is bringing Fare Payments-as-a-Service (FPaaS) to public transit agencies of all sizes around the globe. Through our Fare Payments platform, Justride, agencies can sign up to mobile ticketing services, enable Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS), or deploy an account-based full fare collection solution using contactless bank cards, mobile devices and smartcards. With over 75 clients across 11 countries, including in cities such as New York, London, Sydney, Tokyo, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orleans, The Hague and Bucharest, Justride is the world’s leading Fare Payments platform, serving the largest transit agency in the US to local bus operators. Masabi has offices in New York, Denver, London and Cluj, and investors include Mastercard, Shell and Keolis. For more information, visit

Written by James Gooch

Head of Marketing at Masabi.
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