FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 14, 2006
Release No. M-114-06
OAHU CITIZENS CHOOSE FIXED GUIDEWAY AS
FAVORITE TRANSIT ALTERNATIVE
Poll Results Show Strong Support Islandwide
Mayor Mufi Hannemann says a recent Oahu survey shows strong, island-wide community support for a fixed guideway mass transit system. “We’re seeing quantitative proof of what I’ve felt all along,” he said. “Regardless of where people live and whether they drive or take the bus, Oahu’s citizens believe that a fixed guideway system is the best way to address our island’s traffic congestion.”
Here is a summary of the poll findings.
Traffic is a clear problem among Oahu residents. Eighty-four percent of those polled describe roads as seriously congested and 82 percent feel things will only worsen in the next 10 years.
When asked about possible solutions, rail is the preferred choice of a plurality (45 percent) of Oahu residents surveyed across the island. Respondents were asked to rank the four transit alternatives now under consideration by the Honolulu City Council: No Build, Transportation System Management, Managed Lane and Fixed Guideway.
Roughly half (49 percent) of the respondents indicated they would use the rail system if it were available on Oahu. The number increases to 56 percent when respondents were asked if anyone in their household would use rail.
Overall projected ridership is highest in Council District 7 (Kailihi-Salt Lake) at 72 percent followed by Council District 1 (Ewa-Waianae) at 68 percent.
Many of the individuals interested in using rail are new to public transportation. Seventy percent who say they would use the new rail system say they currently seldom, if ever, ride TheBus. More than half (56 percent) of the current bus riders polled say they would also use the rail system.
Respondents are split as to the specific route they prefer of the two options presented. Forty-one percent would like to see the rail system end at Ala Moana at a projected cost of $3.6 billion while 38 percent feel a route ending at the University of Hawaii at Manoa at $4.6 billion would be preferred.
Speaking at a news conference called today to share the poll results, Mayor Hannemann said, “These results are concrete proof of the need for us to take action this year to start solving Honolulu’s traffic woes and improve the quality of life for our citizens island-wide. With this kind of public support and the support of our Congressional delegation in securing federal funding, there could be no better time to act. I urge the Honolulu City Council to move quickly and decisively on this matter and I look forward to working with the Council members towards that end.”
The poll was commissioned by the City Department of Transportation Services to gain insight into residents’ current modes of transportation, and their attitudes regarding various transportation options. The survey also gauged residents’ intent to use a rail transit system if one is built.
The random telephone survey of 900 Oahu residents was conducted by QMark Research from October 27 through November 6 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.27 percentage points with a 95 percent confidence level. Respondents were screened to ensure that they are at least 18 years of age, are full-time residents of the state of Hawaii and do not work in marketing, market research, advertising, public relations or for the City and County of Honolulu.
Barbara Ankersmit, QMark Research and Polling, 524-5194
Bill Brennan, 527-6928
Mark Matsunaga, 527-5767