Exploring the Barriers to Community Involvement in Public Transportation: The Case of Capital Metro
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Public transportation is a necessary public service for thousands of people who are transit dependent. Expectation of a reliable transportation system is as normal as expecting running water and electricity every morning. Public involvement in transportation policy decision making is an essential mechanism to provide quality service to the transit dependent as well as to choice riders.
The purpose of this research study is to explore the perceived barriers to community involvement in public transportation from the perspective of the minority community in Austin, Texas which is served by the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The study develops two working hypotheses and sub-hypotheses from the literature to identify barriers to community involvement and alternatives to the barriers. Focus groups and surveys of current and potential Austin area minority community transit riders are the methodologies used in the study. Descriptive statistics of percentages and modes are used to describe the survey responses. The results indicate that the minority community is aware of barriers to involvement and is receptive to alternatives adopted to increase minority community involvement such as information sharing in multiple languages through churches, radio and television advertising.