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Poll: Austinites want surface rail!

31 May 2015
(Sceenshot of poll results)

(Sceenshot of poll results)

We’ve been insisting that — despite last November’s voter rejection of the deeply flawed official “urban rail” plan — Austinites do support rail.

Now this has been corroborated. A poll conducted in early March by the Zandan Poll (and reported April 16th by the Austin American-Statesman) indicates that 63% of respondents would favor “an increase in taxes” to construct an “Above ground rail system”.

According to the Statesman, the results are based on the responses of over 800 people that participated in online surveys. Yhr particupar quesrion on transportation was:

Assuming an increase in taxes for projects that involve lots of new construction, how supportive are you of the following transportation initiatives/infrastructure projects?

As the graphic at top shows, respondents also gave a thumbs-up to “More dedicated express lanes on Austin’s major highways ” and “Expanding service on the most frequently used bus routes”. And over half apparently even favor a subway.

All in all, this suggests that votes could be mustered to support money for rail — if the project is right. ■

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5 comments

  1. Trust Voters who have spoken their wishes.
    Not some tiny rigged poll.
    Commuter Rail, which is a total failure of cost effectiveness, should also be a clue to stop wasting energy on rail.
    Austin demographics will NEVER come close to supporting a cost effective, useful-service rail system. We need simple, sustainable, affordable people mobility that provides from anywhere to anywhere anytime transit. This has been proposed in detail by one of our own citizens, Richard Shultz. Cellular Mass Transit CMT4Austin.org is your answer. Get behind it and let’s bring better transit to everyone that we CAN afford.


    • Skip is drawing a conclusion that is not warranted, and is directly contrdicted by the recent poll. What is definitively true is that no “cellular mass transit” plan has public support; indeed, most people have no idea what it is, and there’s a reason why that is. It’s untested.

      There are many reasons why Prop 1 went down, and most of them have little to do with the popularity or efficacy of light rail–if it’s done right and in a fiscally sound way. Austin demographics actually DO indicate support for a “cost-effective useful-service rail system,” so I flatly dispute the writer’s statement to the contrary. This is the millennial hipster tech capital of the world, the demographic MOST LIKELY to support a well planned rail system.

      No, I think Skip is just blowing the horn for a transit technology that is not proven and which is far less likely to get public support on that basis alone.

      We need to proceed forthwith to build a light rail system in Austin, and leave the untested, unproven technologies for a future time, and let some other cities be the guinea pig for those. Austin is too far behind in its transit development and must play catch up. There’s no time to waste in getting this city moving–on a fast efficient light rail system.


      • As many decades as closed minded rail supporters have been unsuccessfully trying to convince taxpayers that rail is the ultimate solution, local citizen Richard Shultz spent time learning the components of transit that work best and then created an integration of best practices into a solution for Austin he calls Cellular Mass Transit (CMT). There’s nothing new or untried or untested about CMT. The only thing needed is doing what most successful enterprises do. They study best practices and implement them. If anyone with a shred of common sense spends sufficient time to learn how Cellular Mass Transit at http://www.CMT4Austin.org works, and talks with Richard about it, they would quickly learn that CMT is simply an amalgamation of existing transit methods used all over the planet into a simple, quickly doable, more cost effective than any other proposed solution, serving the entire population rather than a select few, providing 10 minute max wait times, whisking people to their destination twice as fast as the existing system, and providing much safer nearby transit centers with security and air conditioned space. This is a think outside the box solution custom made for Austin and offered free by one of out own. Let’s stop pushing a non-serving, uneconomical more gentrifying transit system and start serving everyone equally with superior service we all can afford by implementing CMT..


  2. Skip is drawing a conclusion that is not warranted, and is directly contrdicted by the recent poll. What is definitively true is that no “cellular mass transit” plan has public support; indeed, most people have no idea what it is, and there’s a reason why that is. It’s untested.

    There are many reasons why Prop 1 went down, and most of them have little to do with the popularity or efficacy of light rail–if it’s done right and in a fiscally sound way. Austin demographics actually DO indicate support for a “cost-effective useful-service rail system,” so I flatly dispute the writer’s statement to the contrary. This is the millennial hipster tech capital of the world, the demographic MOST LIKELY to support a well planned rail system.

    No, I think Skip is just blowing the horn for a transit technology that is not proven and which is far less likely to get public support on that basis alone.

    We need to proceed forthwith to build a light rail system in Austin, and leave the untested, unproven technologies for a future time, and let some other cities be the guinea pig for those. Austin is too far behind in its transit development and must play catch up. There’s no time to waste in getting this city moving–on a fast efficient light rail system.


  3. First, the so-called poll was not scientific or valid. Second rail was 3rd in supported mobility options and the first two need all the available funds for many years, and, Third, anyone who looks at the future which is approaching very quickly, will find that, conclusively, that 18th century rail is totally outdated and not cost effective. Before rail could be implemented, it would be obvious to the vast majority of all citizens that their massive tax support of rail would be a total waste and, worse, it would degrade our ability to do the things that will, in fact, improve mobility in the most cost effective way for everyone.



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