Mobility

Poll finds strong support for transportation modernization in eastern region

Posted on December 11, 2019

Overall, 66% of voters said they would support a policy to modernize the region's transportation network, while 23% were opposed.
tramrunner229
Overall, 66% of voters said they would support a policy to modernize the region's transportation network, while 23% were opposed.tramrunner229

A new survey from MassINC Polling Group shows that 66% of voters in seven Eastern states support modernizing the region’s transportation network.

The research surveyed registered voters in the seven largest states at the TCI table: Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Overall, 66% of voters said they would support the policy, while 23% were opposed. Support ranged from a high of 71% in New York to a low of 60% in Virginia. The MassINC Polling Group survey was conducted November 12 to 19, 2019 among 6,395 registered voters.

Across nearly every demographic group, more voters support than oppose their state joining in the program. Support was highest about younger voters (78%), non-white voters (75%), and lower income voters. Women (69%) were slightly more supportive than men (63%). The partisan gap was smaller than is seen on many issues in the current polarized climate, with Democratic support outpacing Republican support.

Voters were also asked to rate several potential uses for the funds generated by the proposed program. While majorities supported each item, two rose to the top overall and across the seven states polled: improving public transit and protecting transportation infrastructure from the effects of climate change. Generally, investing the proceeds of the program in existing infrastructure was favored over seeding newer technologies like electric vehicles, targeting communities most effected by pollution, or insulating drivers from higher costs at the pump.

The polls also asked voters about their views of climate change:

  • 73% of voters across the region think climate change is probably happening.
  • Among those, 85% think it is due at least in part to human activity.
  • 66% think climate change will be a serious problem for their state if left unchecked.
  • 57% think the federal government is doing too little to address climate change.
  • 44% think the same of their own state government.

Voters also understand that transportation is contributing to climate change. When asked to rank six sectors of their state’s economy based on their greenhouse gas emissions, 65% ranked transportation first or second.

Despite all this, only 48% cited addressing climate change as a “major priority” for state government in their state. More (64%) considered improving roads, highways, and bridges a major priority, just below health care costs (73%) and jobs and the economy (71%).

To view the report, click here.

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