You are on page 1of 3

TO: Interested Parties

FROM: Lori Weigel, Public Opinion Strategies

DATE: October 3, 2018

RE: Survey Finds Strong Support for Investments in Public Transit from Minnesota Voters

Public Opinion Strategies conducted a survey of voters throughout Minnesota regarding their views of
public transit on behalf of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber1. The survey found strong and widespread
support for the state making investments in expanding and improving public transit in the state. North
Star state voters believe the state would benefit from improving transit – both generally and in terms of
jobs and the economy. They also believe it would have an impact on traffic congestion, which a majority
say has gotten worse over the past few years. Specifically, the survey found that…

• Nearly three-quarters of Minnesota voters support additional investments in expanding and


improving public transit. Fully 74 percent of state voters express support for “the state of Minnesota
making additional investments in expanding and improving public transit, including buses, trains and
light rail.” Fully 37 percent strongly support it. Just 24 percent oppose such investments, with only
14 percent strongly opposed.

Support for additional investments is evident throughout the state, across party lines, and with all
key sub-groups, including…

o 77 percent of women and 72 percent of men;


o 77 percent of voters under age 35, 72 percent of 35-44 year olds, 76% of 45-64 year olds,
and 74 percent of seniors;
o 78 percent of Twin Cities metro area voters, and 70 percent of voters in the rest of the
state;
o 92 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of independents, and 54 percent of GOP voters; and
o 80 percent of those who have taken the bus or light rail in the last year, and 74 percent
of those who have not ridden public transit in the last year.

1
Public Opinion Strategies conducted a survey of 500 registered voters throughout the state, with interviews distributed
proportionally by county and the overall sample representative of the electorate overall. The survey was conducted August
22-26, 2018. The margin of error associated with this sample is +4.38 percent at the 95 percent confidence interval. The
margin of error for sub-groups will be greater but varies with that population size.
Minnesota Survey Key Findings
Page 2

Even when a direct cost to themselves is made explicit in the form of higher taxes or fees to fund
these improvements to public transit, a solid majority of 59 percent support the state making these
investments. Again, this support is evident throughout the state and with many key sub-groups.

• Support for expanding and improving public transit appears to be grounded in a strong sense that
these investments help the state overall and the economy specifically in Minnesota. Broadly,
voters demonstrate an overwhelming view that transit helps Minnesota as a state and the Twin Cities
as a region.

In addition, the survey found that voters believe the state benefits economically if investments are
made to expand and improve public transit. For example:

o Fully 73 percent say that “a good system of public transit would benefit the state’s
economy (43 percent strongly agree);
o Nearly the same number (70 percent) agree that “a good system of public transit would
benefit my community’s economy (36 percent strongly agree); and
o Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) agree that “Minneapolis-St. Paul needs a better regional
transit system, including additional light rail lines, in order to compete for jobs with
communities like Denver, Salt Lake City, Dallas and Portland that have more complete
transit systems.”

• In fact, voters perceive public transit as beneficial not just for jobs and the ability for the state
to attract businesses, but also for quality of life in the state. The overwhelming majority
perceive positive multiple benefits for the state from public transit as the following chart
illustrates:
Minnesota Survey Key Findings
Page 3

• Finally, Minnesota voters perceive traffic congestion as worsening, and believe investments
in public transit will provide benefits in this regard as well. A majority in the state (54 percent)
and over two-thirds (69 percent) in the Metro area say that traffic congestion has gotten worse
in the past few years. Notably, when asked why they support public transit, alleviating traffic
congestion is one of the reasons they cite.