The Austin Chronicle

The People (562 of 'em) Have Spoken

July 23, 1999, News

Here are some highlights of the AIM market study, conducted by NuStats International for Capital Metro, among a sample of 562 Austinites, during May:

• Seventy-three percent of the respondents think Austin is a "much better" or "somewhat better" place to live than other U.S. cities. Only 5% thought Austin was "somewhat worse" or "much worse."

• Seven out of 10 respondents say traffic congestion is the worst problem caused by Austin's rapid growth. How to solve it? Respondents were asked to rank each of three options -- "building more roads," "building transit infrastructure," and "changing people's behavior" -- as either a "good," "fair," or "dumb" solution, and the survey pool pretty much split into thirds. The only exception was for behavior change, which fewer people think is a dumb idea.

• Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they'd be "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to support a light-rail initiative, but 54% predicted light rail would fail at the ballot box.

• Of the people who currently ride Capital Metro, more than half are under 34 years old, 45% claim incomes greater than $20,000 (20% claim incomes over $50,000), and 48% are Anglo. These folks identified more frequent service on current routes as their most-desired service improvement.

• Nearly 20% of respondents feel that improving public transit is the top priority facing our city, and nearly 60% more placed it among their top three. -- M.C.M

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