This year marks Mass Transit’s third time conducting the annual Mobility Outlook survey and, while threats from COVID-19 remain, there appears to be more hope attached to the upcoming year. In last year’s report , about 45 percent of transit respondents expected slightly or significantly lower operating and capital budgets. In 2022’s report, the weight of answers falls in a more positive direction with nearly 75 percent of transit respondents reporting budgets that will be slightly higher or significantly higher.
More than 56 percent of respondents from transit supporting entities, such as manufacturers, suppliers and consultants, report their company budgets have not increased for 2022, but they also report they do not anticipate the deep cost cutting measures from 2021 to repeat this year.
The pandemic continues to impact transit operations with transit agency respondents reporting concerns with continued reduced ridership, recruitment challenges and staff concern regarding health and safety among the top answers.
How was this information gathered?
Mass Transit queried transit agency subscribers, as well as representatives from private companies in January 2022. The survey received 278 responses with 124 from transit professionals and 154 from non-transit agency professionals. The survey included intelligence with separate questions being asked of the two groups. For example, the survey only asked transit providers if they planned to purchase vehicles in 2022.
An ideal world would allow the survey to be answered by every transit provider in North America, but this is not practical. We do believe the data found within this survey offers valuable insight as the industry continues to emerge from under the umbrella of the pandemic.