New poll supports light rail

March 24, 2009 10:39:21 AM PDT
The Regional Transportation Alliance (RTA) released the results of a poll it commissioned Tuesday that studies public support for more public transportation alternatives.More than a thousand registered voters in Durham, Orange, and Wake counties were surveyed between March 7 and 11.

Click here to read the full poll (.pdf)

Voters were asked if they support a proposal to levy a new sales tax to pay for light rail and expanded bus service. The results were mixed with just under 50 percent in favor and 42 percent opposed.

But when asked if they would support a sales tax over more property taxes, the gap was wider.

“More than 50 percent of registered voters would vote for a half-cent local option sales tax to improve public transportation in the Triangle – a promising level of initial support given the current focus on the economy here and elsewhere. On the other hand, a majority of voters in Durham, Orange, and Wake counties would oppose more property taxes to expand transit,” explained Joe Milazzo II, RTA Executive Director.

The majority of voters also said they'd like to see an expanded public transportation system - including buses and light rail. Just under 75 percent favored building a light rail system and 67 percent favored more buses.

The poll also asked some non-transportation related questions. 70 percent thought their community was going in the right direction overall. When asked what the top priority should be for local elected officials, the top two answers were improving education and attracting more business and jobs.

The poll's margin of error was +/- 3.08 percent. Fallon Research supervised the research.


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