When you call it that, it’s not very popular.
Looking at this Pew survey, Matt Yglesias points out that Democrats and Republicans seem to agree on the unimportance of improving transportation.
Alas, faced with that, our politicians talk about jobs and infrastructure rather than transportation. This in turn creates the suspicion that we’re employing people to do nothing or building things we may not need.
But of course, many of the things people seem to care most about (and the two parties agree most about) depend on transportation, notably: “Improving job situation.” “strengthening economy.” (It’s also important to several things that are sadly more polarizing, such as “dealing with global climate change,” dealing with the problems of poor people,” and “addressing issues around race.”)
I wish we were in the habit of asking people if they care about “access to opportunities“, which captures why we care about jobs but also resonates with other important goals, like economic growth and access to opportunity.
But in any case, transportation doesn’t poll well. Maybe that’s fine. Even I am not that interested in transportation. I’m interested in people being able to do things, as a result fo being able to go places. Let’s talk about that.