The Washington State Transportation Commission has just completed a statewide survey of the Voice of Washington State survey panel that asked thousands of Washington state residents several questions on transportation, including how they feel about the transportation system, what their transportation investment priorities are, and if they think the state has enough revenue to meet future needs.
A resounding 86 percent of those surveyed think it is urgent to make sure Washington’s transportation system works effectively today and into the future, and 60 percent are willing to consider raising some transportation taxes and fees to ensure future transportation needs are met. Similar to a 2012 VOWS survey, preserving infrastructure, investing in transit and reducing congestion continue to be the top benefits residents must see to justify paying additional taxes.
The findings of the survey have been submitted to the Governor and the Legislature for their review as they consider a possible transportation revenue package aimed at meeting the growing needs of our state. Some of the key statewide findings from the survey include:
- 60 percent said they would support raising some transportation taxes and fees, This is a 9 percent increase compared to the 2012 VOWS survey.
- When given a number of benefits that come from increased long-term investments in our transportation system, 78 percent said preserving infrastructure was important in terms of justifying additional taxes for our transportation system. The next highest benefit for justifying additional taxes was reducing congestion (61 percent) and expanding transit (56 percent).
- Only 20 percent rate Washington’s transportation system as better than average. This is a 6 percent decline from 2012.
- On average, residents give Washington’s statewide transportation system a C minus grade.
- When asked rate the importance of specific transportation components, 84 percent feel maintaining and repairing existing roads, highways, and bridges is important, followed by expanding public transit services (49 percent) and adding or increasing inter-city passenger rail service (46 percent). This result is similar to the 2012 survey.
The VOWS survey panel began in 2011 and utilizes a multi-layered recruiting strategy including mail, phone, email, word of mouth, social media to help provide the broadest possible statewide coverage of Washington residents. All survey results are statistically valid and projectable to the full population of Washington state. The goal of this recent survey was to collect a minimum of 5,000 demographically representative responses from across the state during the two weeks the survey was open. A total of 5,765 responses were collected.
The commission encourages residents to join the VOWS survey panel so they can participate in future surveys. The bigger the panel is the louder the collective voice of Washington state residents will be to state decision makers. To join the VOWS survey panel, please visit: voiceofwashingtonsurvey.org.
For more information about the commission visit: wstc.wa.gov.