El Paso County residents may have mixed feelings about how well the area is recovering from the recession, but a majority of respondents in a recent county-wide telephone poll agreed that public transportation plays an important role in the community.
Forty-four percent (44%) favor adding more transportation options such as public transportation and bicycle lanes to deal with congestion, while only thirty-five percent (35%) of respondents said they favor adding only highway capacity. Sixty-one percent (61%) agreed that transit should have dedicated funding. Yet, 59 percent (59%) said they would be more likely to vote for transit funding if combined with some funding for roads. Most respondents strongly agreed that public transportation's most important role is providing mobility for those who have no other transportation options. About 75 percent (75%) said transportation options are important to relieve traffic congestion, improve air quality, or reduce gas consumption.
The poll was conducted as part of The Future of Regional Transit Study to develop a recommendation for a more solid regional decision-making and funding structure for regional transit. The federal grant used to fund this study can only be used for transit planning, not operations or other municipal public works needs. The grant program helps communities prepare and position themselves to meet long-term demands. The study is nearing completion and citizen input is needed. Request a copy of the survey by calling (719) 385-5974 or complete it online by going to the study Web site.