Friday Factday: Informing Transit Discussion–
What Does Metro Atlanta Speaks Say?

There’s been much in the press lately about the continuing public debate regarding possibilities for funding and implementing alternate transportation modes, with particular focus being placed on transit.  Part of the discussion has been on business needs and expectations, both currently and in the future.  Another aspect of the debate has revolved around Atlanta area residents.  With an eye for resident perspectives, the Metro Atlanta Speaks (MAS) survey offers some rather compelling information on what Atlantans think of various aspects of transit in the metro region.  ARC has conducted this poll for five years now, the 2017 edition  surveying 5,400 persons across a 13-county region with a margin of error at only +/- 1.3 percentage points regionally and margins of error ranging from +/- 5 to 7 percentage points at the scale of counties and the City.  Two key questions, asked every year the poll has been conducted, have been:

  • How important is public transit to the region?
  • What’s the best long-term solution to traffic? 

The response to the first of these questions has always been clear-cut. In 2017, over 90 percent of respondents region-wide felt that transit was “very important” or “somewhat important” to the region; more notably, in every one of the counties and the City at least 80% of the respondents felt that way.  For the second question (…long-term solution?), a plurality of respondents in thirteen of the fourteen subareas surveyed reported that they believe public transit was the best of several options to address congestion (see Chart 1).

Chart 1: Metro Atlanta Speaks 2017 by Subarea: What’s the Best Long-Term Solution for Traffic?

Source: Metro Atlanta Speaks Survey conducted by A.L. Burruss Institute, Kennesaw State University; for more information, click here

So transit is important to Atlantans, they think it’s the best game-changer for transportation, but would they contribute to getting more transit “on the ground”? Luckily, new to MAS this year is a question that directly assesses this issue.  At the region level (Chart 2), over half of respondents stated (either “strongly agreed” or “agreed”) that they’d be willing to pay more in taxes for transit.  That willingness does vary by subarea (Chart 3), but majorities in five areas, headed up by Gwinnett County at 56%, responded they would be okay with being taxed to build more transit.  For the other nine subareas, the share of respondents “agreeing” ranged from 49% (Cobb) to 34.5% (Butts).

Chart 2: MAS 2017 Regionwide: “I am willing to pay more in taxes to fund expanded regional public transit that includes buses and rail.”

Chart 3: MAS 2017 by Subarea: “I am willing to pay more in taxes to fund expanded regional public transit that includes buses and rail.”

Source: Metro Atlanta Speaks Survey conducted by A.L. Burruss Institute, Kennesaw State University; for more information, click here

By |2018-02-02T18:20:20-04:00February 2nd, 2018|Friday Factday, Metro Atlanta Speaks, Transportation|Comments Off on Friday Factday: Informing Transit Discussion–
What Does Metro Atlanta Speaks Say?