No Remains Ahead in Metro Vancouver Transit Plebiscite

Less than half of weekday transit riders would vote “Yes”, as animosity from drivers towards the proposed tax continues to grow.

Vancouver, BC – Most Metro Vancouver residents say they plan to vote No when the mail-in ballot for the Transportation and Transit Plebiscite reaches their home, a new Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of adult Metro Vancouver residents, 55% say they will “definitely” or “probably” vote No (+2 points since February), while 33% (-5) claim they will “definitely” or “probably” vote Yes.

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Among voters who claim to have made a “definite” choice, No continues to outrank Yes by a considerable margin (37% to 15%).

The survey showed respondents a copy of the ballot that will be included in the voting packages, which be mailed to Metro Vancouver residents later this month.

Half of female residents (50%) say they will vote No, along with three-in-five male residents (61%). Large majorities of residents aged 55+ (58%) and 35 to 54 (56%) are also currently No voters, along with 47% of those aged 18 to 34.

Support for Yes has fallen below the 50% mark among residents who use public transit to get to school or work on weekdays (46%) and those who bike or walk (48%). Conversely, residents who drive (60%) and those who do not commute on weekdays (57%) are more likely to be No voters.

On a regional basis, the highest level of support for Yes is observed in Richmond and Vancouver (43%). Fewer residents in the North Shore (39%), Burnaby and East (32%) and the municipalities located South of the Fraser River (24%) are planning to vote Yes.

“Over the past month, the animosity from drivers to the proposed funding structure for transit improvements has hardened,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “But even among transit riders, who conceivably stand to benefit directly from the transportation plan, the level of support for Yes has dropped consistently every month.”

Across Metro Vancouver, practically nine-in-ten residents (88%, +14 since February) say they are aware of the upcoming plebiscite, and 78% (+14) claim to be “very” or “somewhat” familiar with it.

The Yes Voters

Few residents who plan to vote Yes, express confidence in TransLink to ensure that the transportation projects are implemented properly (11%). A slightly higher proportion (19%) trusts the mayors to make the best decision when it comes to funding these projects.

Seven-in-ten Yes voters (70%) continue to say 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.

The No Voters

Two thirds of No voters both believe there are other ways to fund the transportation projects (67%) and express doubts that the proposed tax increase, if it goes through, will stay at 0.5% (66%).

More than three-in-four No voters (78%) also say they do not have confidence in TransLink to do a good job to ensure that the transportation projects are implemented properly, and half of them (49%) say they do not trust the Mayors to make the best decision.

Projects

The most important project for residents in Metro Vancouver continues to be maintaining and upgrading the region’s major roads (24%), followed by increasing service on SkyTrain, Canada Line, SeaBus and West Coast Express (22%).

Jim Pattison

A second survey was conducted by Insights West following the announcement that B.C. businessman Jim Pattison has agreed to head a committee that will oversee any money collected through the proposed sales tax increase, if the Yes side wins the Metro Vancouver Transportation and Transit Plebiscite.

Across the region, three-in-four residents (74%) were aware of Pattison’s agreement. While his presence is clearly welcomed by the Yes side, it had little immediate impact on residents who are thinking of voting No. Only 3% of No voters say Pattison’s presence in the committee makes them more likely to vote Yes.

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has fifteen full-time employees.

About this Release:

Results for the transit plebiscite questions are based on an online study conducted from March 2 to March 5, 2015, among 1,604 adult residents of Metro Vancouver who are Your Insights panel members. Results for the questions on Jim Pattison are based on an online re-contact conducted from March 6 to March 8, 2015, among 1,179 adult residents of Metro Vancouver who are Your Insights panel members. YourInsights.ca is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. Results have a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points (transit plebiscite survey) and +/- 2.9 percentage points (Jim Pattison survey), 19 times out of 20. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations for this study.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com

 

Photograph: waferboard