Nationwide survey: Motorists prefer tolls to taxes

According to a new nationwide AAA survey, motorists have changed their mind about transportation fundingââ?¬â??they think there should be more of it:

“In previous surveys and focus groups, we’ve seen real reluctance to increasing funding for transportation,” said Martha Mitchell Meade, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Common responses used to be ‘I already pay enough,’ or ‘existing funds aren’t invested efficiently,’ or ‘I don’t trust my state DOT to do the right thing.’ I think the strong support for more funding we find in this survey bodes well for the challenges ahead of us. But we must remember, when motorists are asked to pay more, they must receive direct and recognizable improvements to their travel experience.”

Motorists have also softened to tolling, preferring that option more than other revenue-raising approaches:

When respondents were asked to choose from a number of funding options, the public did not favor using general purpose revenues. In fact, the most frequent choice – 52% – was some form of toll option to help raise money to fund our transportation system. The most popular options are those that add tolls to only new roads and highways (39%). Despite majority of opinion that more funds are needed to address increasing congestion, there appears to be little support for increasing non-fuel taxes such as sales, income, and property taxes, with just 15 percent favoring this method. Only 21 percent of respondents favored increasing the gas tax, and only 19 percent of respondents favor a new financing method of imposing a vehicle miles traveled tax based on the number of miles a person drives…

AAA press release here. Related: Folks in Atlanta, California, Denver, DC, and Virginia prefer tolls to taxes