Join the 155,000+ IMP followers

San Franciscans stand ready to swap their cars for public transport

Four in five back investing in public transport over driving in the city.

San Franciscans stand ready to swap their cars for public transport

New global study, commissioned by Hitachi Rail, finds 80% of San Franciscans back investing in public transport over driving in their city.

Four in five San Franciscans back investing in public transport over driving, according to a new global survey commissioned by Hitachi Rail. In a boost for green travel in San Francisco, its citizens also believe that their public transport system is more convenient than driving, and with greater ability to avoid overcrowding, almost three-quarters would use it more.

The survey, carried out by SavantaComres, collected data from 12,000 people in 12 different cities around the world, including Berlin, Copenhagen, Dubai, London, Milan, Paris, San Francisco, Singapore, Sydney, Toronto, Warsaw and, Washington D.C.

High demand for public transport

San Francisco currently has the second lowest rate of regular drivers out of all 12 cities surveyed (49% vs a global average of 61%), although it has a high number of people who sometimes drive (31%). Although driving is the primary mode of transport for commuters (77%), 50% of commutes also involve public transport.

San Franciscans are clear that public transport is the easiest way to travel in their city, with 68% saying that public transport is convenient vs 40% who find driving convenient. Nonetheless, San Franciscans do also place a special emphasis on the importance of both a convenient timetable and their personal safety when choosing how they travel (both selected as important by 94%). In terms of barriers, personal safety is the most substantial barrier to using public transport followed by overcrowding.

Growing public transport usage

The research shows that 80% of San Franciscans would prioritise investment in public transport over driving and a majority (56%) back the idea of increased road charges to pay for it. The challenge for city transport planners however is how can this be most effectively used to attract passengers? Respondents clearly stated that the ability to avoid overcrowding (73%) or access the shortest journey time (80%) would encourage them to use public transport more. The objectives can partly be delivered by an enhanced travel planning app and San Franciscans also highlighted the ability to map out a full journey and the ability to get live updates on crowding levels on incoming services the two most important benefits of this technology.

For Hitachi Rail, the business is able to help deliver faster journeys and increase capacity – thereby reducing crowding – on public transport in San Francisco through its cutting edge digital signalling. For example, in 2020, Hitachi Rail was awarded a contract to replace the existing 48 year old train control system for the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART), with Hitachi's new system for technologically controlling trains known as Communications Based Trains Control (CBTC). The CBTC system allows trains to safely operate on tighter schedules and at more closely spaced intervals, significantly increasing the lines throughput and passenger capacity. Hitachi's CBTC system will enable BART to meet the projected demand of over 30,000 Transbay passengers per hour at peak times, while providing the highest levels of safety

Joseph Pozza, President of Hitachi Rail, North America, said: "Our research highlights the huge demand for more green public transport in the city. San Franciscan's are clear that public transport is more convenient than driving, and a striking four in five would like to see more investment in the city's transport infrastructure.

"Our challenge now as a transport industry is to deliver the new green infrastructure that, for example by allowing passengers to avoid overcrowding, can encourage more people out of their cars and onto regional public transit options such as BART."

  Ask For More Information…


Join the 155,000+ IMP followers