2011 Statewide Transportation Survey released

The Washington Transportation Commission’s transportation survey results have been released. You can download the Key Findings here.

Here are a few interesting findings:

Support for New Revenue

  • Talking about the critical nature of the funding/maintenance situation is not effective in increasing support for new revenue. Describing the benefits of increased investment does increase support.
    [page 31]

Benefits of Increased Investment

  • The “preservation message” which specifically talks about the idea of “investing now [so] we can extend the life of our roads, bridges, transit, and ferries and keep them safe” is particularly effective.
    [page 43]


  • There is also strong support for “using state transportation funds to help maintain and operate the Washington State Ferry system,” although initially, overall support is primarily driven by strong support in the ferry RTPOs (Peninsula, Skagit/Island, PSRC [Puget Sound Regional Council] and Whatcom).
    • Initially, 6 of the 14 RTPOs give majority support to state ferry funding.
    • After hearing about how the system is funded and operated, there is majority support in 11 of the 14 RTPOs and support is net positive in every RTPO.

    [page 62]

In the section State Funding for Ferries, respondents who “strongly support” using state transportation funds to support WSF increased from 20% to 27% when the question provided more information about how the ferries are funded (so-called “informed” support). [Page 63]

Based on the results of this survey, it appears to me that three key points should be emphasized when building support for sustainable ferry funding:

  1. Stress the benefits of a fully-funded ferry system.
  2. Stress the benefit of maintaining our infrastructure.
  3. Ensure that the message contains adequate background information so that citizens can make informed decisions.

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