Support for transit plebiscite waning, polls show

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by JOC Digital Media

A majority of Metro Vancouver residents are planning to vote No in the upcoming Transportation and Transit Plebiscite, a new Insights West poll has found.
Support for transit plebiscite waning, polls show

Insights West is a full-service marketing research company based in Western Canada.

The online survey of a representative sample of adult Metro Vancouver residents shows that 53 per cent say they will "definitely" or "probably" vote No, while 38 per cent will "definitely" or "probably" vote Yes.

Among voters who claim to have made a "definite" choice, No outranks Yes by a 2 to 1 margin.

Voters 18 to 34 are evenly split on the question while those aged 35 to 54 and those aged 55 and over are more likely to say they will vote No.

Support for Yes among residents who rely on public transit to get to work or school on weekdays dropped markedly, from 61 per cent last month to 52 per cent in February. More than half of those who bike or walk say they will vote Yes, while a majority of drivers say they will vote No.

"Our December and January surveys showed that the Yes side was inching ahead due to soft voters," says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. "This month, we see a double-digit increase for the No side, with the bulk of this support coming from drivers, middle-income earners and residents of the municipalities located south of the Fraser River, such as Surrey."

Across Metro Vancouver, three-in-four residents say they are aware of the upcoming plebiscite, and 64 per cent claim to be "very" or "somewhat" familiar with it.

According to the poll, support for the Yes side is not accompanied by an enthusiastic endorsement of TransLink. 70 per cent of Yes voters acknowledge that while they are not satisfied with TransLink's performance, they believe the plebiscite is the best way to deal with the region's current and future transit problems.

Only 10 per cent of Yes voters have confidence in TransLink ensuring that the transportation projects are implemented properly, and a similar portion express confidence in the mayors making the best decision when it comes to funding these projects.

Four-in-five No voters say they do not have confidence in TransLink to do a good job to ensure that the transportation projects are implemented properly, and three-in-four think there are other ways to fund them.

In addition, almost half of No voters say they do not trust the Mayors to make the best decision when it comes to funding these projects, and two-in-five say they intend to send a message to both TransLink and the Mayors by voting No.

When asked about the most important projects for them personally, residents cite maintaining and upgrading the region's major roads, increasing service on SkyTrain, Canada Line, SeaBus and West Coast Express and adding bus service and new B-line rapid routes as their top three personal priorities.

Two-in-five Metro Vancouverites say they have enough information on exactly which projects will take place in their community if the plebiscite is successful.

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