This morning, the Washington State Transportation Commission released the first results of its Voice of Washington survey, which polled respondents on their feelings about State transportation funding and investments. The highlight conclusion from the survey results shows a broad willingness to invest more in transportation, transit and rail included. However, support is split on funding methods for such new investments, as only a third of the given options received majority support.
Several of the findings seem to add insult to the injury of I-1125’s defeat. Not only did the majority of respondents support sharing use of toll revenue within a travel corridor (i.e., not limited to the tolled facility, an 1125 restriction), both variable tolling and HOT lanes, two of Tim Eyman’s favorite targets, received over 60% support. In addition to majority support for tolls as a new funding stream, a vehicle emissions fee and an electric vehicle license fee were also strongly favored. On the losing side, only 46% supported an increase in the age-old gas tax.
Transit and passenger rail fared well in the survey, receiving 63% of support. Around 60% also supported continued funding of the State ferry system. What’s more ambiguous is differentiating where transit falls into the three investment priorities most strongly favored by respondents: repairing/maintaining the existing system, increasing capacity, and expanding travel options. How much transit was perceived as part of these priorities, versus roads, is certainly less clear.
More findings are available at Publicola. The survey will remain open through the end of the year.