Here are some of its highlights based on a scientific survey of 900 Oahu residents by QMark, a respected Honolulu firm; the survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.27 percentage points with a 95 percent confidence level:
• A majority (77 percent) of Oahu residents believe the island has a serious traffic congestion problem. Nineteen percent describe traffic as “mild” and two percent say there’s no problem; one percent is unsure. This high level of agreement about the seriousness of the problem was seen in all nine City Council districts, ranging from 73 to 84 percent.
• A two-thirds majority (60 percent) support the Honolulu rail project as it was described to them: “The City & County of Honolulu with approval from the voters of Oahu is moving forward with the development of a 20-mile elevated rail transit line that will connect West Oahu with downtown Honolulu and Ala Moana Center."
A little more than one-third of the respondents – 34 percent – strongly support it and 26 percent somewhat support it. Among the 37 percent who oppose the project, 21 percent strongly oppose and 16 percent somewhat suppose it. Three percent don’t know.
Comparing those who have strong feelings one way or the other, the strongly supportive group is more than half again as large as the strongly opposed group. At least half of the respondents in each City Council district support the project.
• Half of the poll’s respondents (49 percent) believe “rail transit is badly needed and is long overdue.” Another 27 percent believe “there is a need for transit but it is not immediate or pressing.” One in five Oahu residents (20 percent) believe “we do not need rail transit on Oahu.”
• Sixty-nine percent of the respondents believe rail transit is a good investment in the future of Honolulu – either very good (36 percent) or somewhat good (33 percent). Of the remainder, 12 percent say rail is a somewhat poor investment while 16 percent believe it is a very poor investment. Three percent are undecided. A solid majority of respondents in all nine City Council district respondents believe rail is a good investment; the lowest percentage among the districts is 60 percent.
• Nearly half (45 percent) of those polled say they expect to use the rail transit system at some point. Among current car commuters during peak morning or afternoon drive times, 42 percent say they’ll use rail once it is completed. Fifty-eight percent of bus riders who commute during those times say they’ll use rail. Combining car and bus commuters, 45 percent believe they’ll use rail at some point.
The Bottom Line: The poll has revealed strong support among Oahu residents for the Honolulu rail project – support that appears to have increased since 53 percent voted in favor of rail in last November’s election.