This article by Steve Harrison shares some interesting information found in a new survey about Charlotte‘s LYNX light rail. One of the most interesting statistics is that 72% of those surveyed said that they had not used transit before using the light rail service. This is a great testament to the idea that light rail gets people out of their cars. LYNX riders had higher average incomes ($65,000) and were better educated (70% having finished college) than their counterparts on express buses ($55,200 and 55%) and regular buses ($31,800 and 25%). The line passes through and picks up passengers in areas that are both affluent and working class. “The demographics say it’s a service for everyone,” says Olaf Kinard, a marketing manager for the Charlotte Area Transit System. LYNX was only expected to serve 9,100 users its first year, but it surpassed that and has topped at about 16,000. These numbers are very encouraging for light rail, and I would encourage any transit advocates out there to familiarize themselves with this report and use it in transit discussions.
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