Groundbreaking Public Opinion Survey on Passenger Rail Released by Georgia Brain Train Group, Inc.
Survey finds large suburban support for passenger rail
LAWRENCEVILLE (Apr. 19) – An overwhelming majority of Gwinnett County residents see the proposed Georgia Brain Train commuter rail system as a viable option to relieve their number one quality of life concern – traffic.
The idea of a commuter rail system connecting Athens to Atlanta through Gwinnett County is supported by 75 percent of Gwinnett County residents surveyed in early April, according to a public opinion research effort released today by The Georgia Brain Train Group. The survey way conducted by Landmark Communications, Inc., of Duluth.
“These survey results clearly show that Gwinnett County residents believe it’s time to move forward with the Brain Train passenger rail service,” said Emory Morsberger, chairman of the Georgia Brain Train Group. “People certainly are saying that the time has come to get people moving to and from their homes, businesses, universities and colleges in a more reliable manner.”
The Landmark Communications survey found that 75% of residents support passenger rail service. All demographic groups and both political parties supported the idea at similar levels.
“Gwinnett residents said that traffic congestion is by far the biggest problem facing the county,” said Morsberger. The countywide survey found 32% of respondents said traffic congestion was the biggest problem, with “growth” and “overdevelopment” at 26%. Illegal immigration was the third most common response of “biggest problem”. Only 6% gave that response.
Residents held local governments and state governments evenly responsible for fixing the problem: 36 % said local officials are most responsible for addressing the traffic issue, while 44% said state government is responsible. Only 4 % relied on the federal government.
When presented with an anti-Brain Train argument stating that the six counties served by the rail services would equally share $6 million in annual subsidy costs for operating expenses, only 18 percent of Gwinnett residents found this “a very persuasive argument.”
“These results tell us that Gwinnett County residents clearly expect that state and local governments must offer more solutions for traffic relief,” said Mark Rountree, president of Landmark Communications. “Passenger rail and the Brain Train is clearly an answer that Gwinnett County residents support.”