The Washington State Transportation Commission has just completed a statewide survey of the Voice of Washington State (VOWS) survey panel that asked 5,765 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.
Improved transportation services in Washington State, specifically in the Seattle metropolitan area could take thousands of cars off the road each year, reducing harmful emissions.
Read more at Washington State Transportation Commission.