A Washington State Transportation Commission survey released Tuesday shows residents would raise taxes and fees to maintain a good transportation system. Considering the mood of the recession-weary, anti-government populace these days, that’s hard to believe.
Fifty-nine percent said they’d generally support raising some transportation and fees, but only three of nine potential funding sources got a majority. Sixty-one percent would support a vehicle emissions fee, 60 percent a special license fee for electric cars and 52 percent tolls.
The money should first got to maintaining and repairing the existing transportation system, they said, followed by increasing capacity and expanding travel options.
Fifty-nine percent support tolling as a way to pay for major projects, 62 percent support express HOV lanes that single-occupant vehicles can use for a price, 51 percent think toll money should be available for improvements in a traffic corridor instead of just for the project, 63 percent support more state funding for public transit and passenger rail, and 57 percent support using state funds to operate and maintain the state ferry system.
The Transportation Commission invited 100,000 Washington residents to participate in the online survey, with a goal of 5,000 actually taking it. There were 5,518 total responses.
There’s now a survey online for the broader public. It can be taken until the end of the year at www.voiceofwashingtonsurvey.org.
The governor’s Connecting Washington Task Force can use the survey insight into what tax and fees the public will tolerate in making recommendations for a 10-year transportation investment plan.