Results of “Brain Train” survey released.

As I mentioned yesterday, a group called Georgia Brain Train Group (website) was to release the results of a survey they conducted today. They did release the results and here they are:

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.”


  1. Bill Simon says:

    Not that this is related in any way to a prior fight I had with Mark Rountree, but true or false: Landmark Communications is better known as a political pollster.

    Answer: True.

    True or False: Emory Morsberger is known in political circles as a person who likes to see outcomes “fixed” to his advantage.

    Answer: True.

    So, I don’t exactly trust the results claimed, especially when Rountree has chosen one of the demographic indicators to be the political party preference of the Respondent. That seems to indicate that Rountree first dug into the voter file for his sample, rather than a random sample of the population.

    The voter file does not count as a representation of the population. It would work in a pinch, but, truly, every pollster now has access to dig samples out of the entire population, rather than sample just the voter file.

    Again. nothing personal. It just doesn’t “appear” to be a completely independent poll/survey.

  2. Joeventures says:

    On the other hand, it sure helps to know how voters feel, rather than the general population. Maybe some of our elected officials will feel just a little more empowered to come up with a more sane transportation policy. Building and widening roads alone and expecting traffic to get better is totally insane.

  3. todd rehm says:

    I think the major question left unanswered is not whether people support it in the abstract, but whether they will actually pay the fare to ride the train.

    The best estimate of fare cost is $6.40 one way, which means that you’ll pay nearly $13.00 per day to ride the train.

    That estimate is also 5 or 6 years old and will certainly have to be revised upward later this year after the state’s new study on how much track improvements will cost. The figure they’re going by for track improvements is also 5 or 6 years old.

    The alternative to a high fare, of course, is to subsidize it like MARTA. But they didn’t test that issue either.

    The claim that the Feds will pay the vast majority of the cost is off-base, because federal money anticipated is less than 55% of the cost, and again, is based on outdated information.

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