Survey Shows Support for Improved Transit

Half of Northern Virginia residents surveyed recently said that better public transportation, not improved roads, would be their top choice for easing their commutes.

When asked by the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority about specific priorities, six out of 10 people who travel regularly in the Dulles corridor said that extending Metrorail to Dulles International Airport was their highest priority.

The telephone survey of 1,263 residents of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax City, Manassas and Manassas Park was conducted in late April and early May to help the agency update its long-range transportation plan. There was no difference between jurisdictions in the overall finding that transit improvements, not road-building, are preferred.

However, most of the respondents who said they traveled the Interstate 66 corridor said they would favor widening the highway over extending the Metro to Centreville.

Those surveyed also cited support for a range of road projects, including widening I-66 between the Capital Beltway and Gainesville. Respondents also said they would be willing to pay $1.67 a day on average to fund improvements to the region's public transportation system. Seven in 10 respondents said they would be willing to pay to travel in high-occupancy toll lanes.

The survey was done by QSA Research & Strategy of Alexandria.