Crisis calls for money

News ARTBA March 18, 2003
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Sixty-four percent of Americans would support a small annual increase in the federal motor fuels user fee excise if the money were used exclusively to improve roads, bridges and public transit, according to recent poll results from New York-based Zogby International.

The survey also showed that nearly 70% of American voters believe the nation has a transportation capacity crisis with overcrowded roads, airports and public transit systems struggling to handle a growing population and economy.

"Our polling on many issues over the years has revealed that voters will support a tax hike if the issue is important to them and they are convinced that the money will be spent wisely," said John Zogby, president and CEO of Zogby International. "Given the increase in gas prices over the past six months, the steady level of support among voters for a gasoline tax [increase] indicates a depth of support that is firm and not likely to be easily shaken. The voters are also saying that their trust in the current administration is high enough to trust it to spend the money wisely."

The survey yielded a few other interesting findings.

More than 80% of Americans think the nation’s highways and public transit network are extremely important or very important to the U.S. economy.

Nearly 80% also agree that an investment in highways, bridges and public transit should be considered an important element in national security.

Nearly 90% feel it is important that their representatives in Congress fight to ensure sufficient federal funding for transportation improvement projects in their local areas.

Two-thirds say roads and public transit systems play a highly important role in their everyday lives.

The survey was commissioned by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association and was conducted on Feb. 6-7. It polled a random sample of 1,002 likely voters nationwide. The margin of error on the results is +/-3.2%.

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