Poll Shows Firm Support for Rail Project
(Wed., June 1, 2011)--Oahu residents clearly support the City's rail transit project, and supporters outnumber opponents in all nine City Council districts, according to results of a new poll released today by Mayor Peter Carlisle and City Council Transportation and Transit Planning Committee Chairman Breene Harimoto.
Fifty-seven percent of residents polled said they support rail transit, while 40 percent said they were opposed, according the scientific survey conducted by QMark Research for PB Americas, Inc., the project's general engineering consultant.
"These results taken from a scientific survey show sound support
for the rail project as it moves forward," said Carlisle. "Taking
this snapshot in time is important as we prepare to transition to
the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, and it provides
useful information for the HART board of directors as its members
prepare to make major decisions that will guide the rail project.
The poll will also be helpful for HART members in determining how
best to keep the public informed."
HART was created after 63 percent of voters approved an amendment to the City Charter last November, and will begin overseeing the rail project on July 1.
The poll of about 900 Oahu residents included surveys of 100 residents from each of the nine City Council districts and found that supporters outnumbered opponents in all districts. Support ranged from a high of 68 percent in District 8 (Aiea-Pearl City-Moanalua) to 50 percent support in District 5 (Kaimuki-Manoa-McCully-Kakaako-Ala Moana).
As key reasons for their support, residents cited concerns over traffic, the need for reliable and convenient transportation, helping the environment, and rail's benefit to the economy.
Top reasons for opposition included concerns about cost, the fact that rail will not service their area, not enough people will use it, and a preference for other transportation options, such as the bus.
"While 70 percent said they felt rail would bring much-needed jobs to Oahu and help the overall economy and 58 percent said they believe rail is a good investment in our island's future, concerns over cost underscore the importance of bringing the project in on time and on budget," said Carlisle.
The poll also found residents felt the most important net benefits of HART were that it would have a singular mission to manage the rail system, that it would have the authority to prepare and manage its own budget separate and apart from the city budget, and because it would have the sole focus of transit, the semi-autonomous authority would make decisions more efficiently.
The scientific survey was conducted May 9, 2011 to May 20, 2011 and the sample was derived using QMark's random digit dialing software with the targeted goal of 45 percent wireless phones and 55 percent landline users. Respondents were screened to ensure they were at least 18 years old and resided on Oahu full time. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 3.27 percent.
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