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Southeastern Institute of Research. Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project Consumer Research October 15, 2004. Pulsar Advertising. G. Outline of Presentation. Objectives Methodology Detailed Findings and Strategic Implications Review of Strategic Implications. Research Objectives.

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Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project Consumer Research October 15, 2004


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    1. Southeastern Institute of Research Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project Consumer Research October 15, 2004 Pulsar Advertising G

    2. Outline of Presentation • Objectives • Methodology • Detailed Findings and Strategic Implications • Review of Strategic Implications

    3. Research Objectives • Identify the key messages that must be advanced to continue support for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project • Identify and understand the segments that do not currently support the project or believe a DTR toll increase is the appropriate way to fund the project • Understand how best to develop the project communication program • Understand how Smart Tag users and non-users support the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project and how Smart Tag incentives could impact Smart Tag utilization

    4. Methodology • Telephone survey conducted among 1,200 DTR users 400 -- live in construction zone (in zip codes that are within 4 miles of construction) 400 -- other residents of the Dulles corridor 400 -- heavy DTR users (at least 3 days per week) • Some overlap in categories • For example, some residents are also heavy users

    5. Methodology (con’t.) • Respondents were not required to use the DTR. However, most respondents did use the DTR. In the report that follows, DTR users are categorized as “Heave DTR Users” and “Other DTR Users.” “Heavy DTR Users” use the DTR three or more times a week. “Other DTR Users” use the DTR less than three times a week. The “Other DTR Users” includes 71 respondents who never use the DTR. The total number in each of these groups is: 456 -- Heavy DTR users* 744 -- Other DTR users * The 456 total exceeds the 400 quota due to category overlap.

    6. Methodology (con’t.) • In the analysis in this report, Construction Zone residents and Other Corridor residents are compared and contrasted. For these comparisons, the total number in each quota (n=400 each) are used. • Heavy DTR Users and Other DTR Users are also compared and contrasted. Because no specific quota was established for the Other DTR Users, the total number of Heavy DTR Users (n=546) and Other DTR Users (n=744) are used for these comparisons.

    7. Methodology (con’t.) • The survey was introduced as a study on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia regarding transportation issues along the Dulles Corridor • Interviews were conducted August 18 through September 6 • All respondents had to be aware of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project Key finding: 89% of residents in the corridor are aware of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

    8. Detailed Findings and Strategic Implications

    9. Support for the Dulles Metrorail Project: Overall Reaction

    10. Total Sample n = 1,200 A Strong Base of Support for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project Already Exists Of those 89% of the population who are aware of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project … 9 out of 10 support the project Weighted data Question: Do you support the Dulles Rail Project – extending Metrorail out to Dulles Airport and into Loudoun County? By support, we mean “do you want this project to be built?” (Read answers.)

    11. Construction Zone n = 400 Other Corridor n = 400 Support of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project Is Widespread Question: Do you support the Dulles Rail Project – extending Metrorail out to Dulles Airport and into Loudoun County? By support, we mean “do you want this project to be built?” (Read answers.)

    12. Residents Throughout the Corridor Support the Project East region: I-66 from Roslyn to DTR interconnect. Includes Arlington, Falls Church, and McLean. Tysons: DTR from I-66 to Leesburg Pike. Includes Tysons and Vienna. Airport: DTR from Leesburg Pike to Airport. Loudoun: Airport out into Loudoun. Question: Do you support the Dulles Rail Project – extending Metrorail out to Dulles Airport and into Loudoun County? By support, we mean “do you want this project to be built?” (Read answers.)

    13. Heavy DTR Users n = 546 Other DTR Users n = 744 Both Heavy DTR Users and Other DTR Users Support the Project But, heavy users give the project a great deal of support. Question: Do you support the Dulles Rail Project – extending Metrorail out to Dulles Airport and into Loudoun County? By support, we mean “do you want this project to be built?” (Read answers.)

    14. Multiple Measures Are Used to Determine Reasons for Support • Why do you support the project? • Do you believe the project will reduce traffic congestion? • What is the major benefit of the project? • What will be the long-term impact? Reduce Congestion

    15. Supporters n = 1086 Residents Support the Project Because They Believe It Will Decrease Traffic Congestion Reasons for supporting Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project Weighted data Question: Why do you say that (you support/do not support Dulles Rail Project)?

    16. Construction Zone N = 400 Other Corridor n = 400 Both Corridor Residents and Construction Zone Residents Support the Project Because They Believe It Will Reduce Traffic Congestion Question: Why do you say that (you support/do not support Dulles Rail Project)?

    17. Heavy DTR Users n = 456 Other DTR Users n = 744 Both Heavy DTR Users and Other Users Support the Project Because It Will Decrease Congestion Reasons for supporting Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project Lighter DTR users also support the project because it will provide access to the airport Question: Why do you say that (you support/do not support Dulles Rail Project)?

    18. Total Sample N=1,200 Residents Believe That When It is Finished, the New Dulles Rail Project Will Reduce Traffic Congestion Along the Dulles Corridor Weighted data Question: Once finished, and in service, do you think the new Dulles Rail Project will reduce traffic congestion along the Dulles Corridor? (Read answers.)

    19. Significantly Reduce n = 447 Somewhat Reduce n = 584 Not At All Reduce n = 131 Those Who Believe the Rail Project Will Reduce Traffic Congestion Are More Likely to Support the Project Weighted data Question: Once finished, and in service, do you think the new Dulles Rail Project will reduce traffic congestion along the Dulles Corridor? (Read answers.)

    20. Support for the Dulles Metrorail Project: A Personal Experience

    21. On A Personal Level, Dulles Rail … • Is viewed as “riding the train” • Is a transportation option • Is convenient transportation • Is a way for an individual or household member to commute to work

    22. Total Sample n = 1,200 Over One-Fourth Believe the New Service Will Provide Convenient Transportation for Their Household Weighted data Question: How will the Dulles Rail Project affect you or anyone in your household?

    23. Supporters n = 1,086 Non-supporters n = 76 Project Supporters Are More Likely to View The New Rail Service as Providing Convenient Transportation Weighted data Question: How will the Dulles Rail Project affect you or anyone in your household?

    24. Heavy DTR Users n = 456 Other DTR Users n = 744 Heavy DTR Users View the New Rail as a Convenient Commute Option. Other DTR Users Also Consider the New Rail to Be Convenient Transportation, But They Are Also More Likely to Think of It as Providing Easier Access to the Airport. Question: How will the Dulles Rail Project affect you or anyone in your household?

    25. A Transportation Option n = 218 Convenient Transportation n = 328 No Impact On Me n = 335 Support for the Project Is Nearly Unanimous among Those Who View the Rail as Transportation for Them or Their Household. Support Is Significantly Less among Those Who Believe the Project Will Not Impact Them. Weighted data Question: Do you support the Dulles Rail Project – extending Metrorail out to Dulles Airport and into Loudoun County? By support, we mean “do you want this project to be built?” (Read answers.)

    26. Key Finding: A strong base of support for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project already exists throughout the corridor. Those who live in the corridor, those who live specifically in the construction zones and those who commute frequently on the DTR believe that the project will have a positive impact on the area. Strategic Implication: Position the overall Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project cause as “good for everyone.”

    27. Key Finding: Reducing traffic congestion is the primary perceived benefit of the project from a broad perspective; less traffic congestion is also the perceived long-term impact of the new rail service; and, it is the reason residents support the project. Strategic Implication: Include messages that reinforce perceived benefits of the project by communicating that the new rail service will reduce traffic congestion – but in ways that do not over promise immediate lessening of today’s traffic congestion. For example: “The Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project will help manage the expected increase in traffic, but not reduce congestion. It is part of a plan to manage the demand on the roadway. Rail will carry the equivalent of up to 4 lanes of traffic during peak hours.”

    28. Key Finding: On an individual or personal level, residents think about the impact the new rail service will have on them and their families rather than how it will impact the community or region. From this perspective, the impact is seen less in terms of reducing traffic congestion and more in terms of a new transportation alternative and a form of transportation that the resident might use. Strategic Implication: Messages about the project are not limited to reduction of traffic congestion.People understand the inherent transportation benefit of Metrorail on a personal level, i.e., the opportunity to use train service. Leverage this positive association with images of Metrorail as a transportation alternative with personal benefits. Explore ways of using the inherent emotional nature of personal experiences to generate support for the project.

    29. Key Finding: Many Heavy DTR Users already view the new rail service as a convenient transportation option – one which they could potentially use on their regular commute. Strategic Implication: Begin now to speak to Heavy DTR Users about the new rail service. Use communication to help them begin to plan for using the new rail system. Teach them how to take advantage of this convenient transportation option.

    30. The Impact of Toll Increase

    31. Total Sample n = 1,200 About Half Are Aware of Toll Increase Weighted data Question: Are you aware that tolls on the Dulles Toll Road will likely be increased to finance the construction of the Dulles Rail Project?

    32. Heavy DTR Users n = 456 Other DTR Users n = 744 Heavy DTR Users Are More Likely to Be Aware of the Toll Increase Question: Are you aware that tolls on the Dulles Toll Road will likely be increased to finance the construction of the Dulles Rail Project?

    33. Total Sample n = 1,200 Two-thirds Feel That Increasing Toll to Fund Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project Is Appropriate 63% Weighted data Question: How appropriate is it to increase tolls on the Dulles Toll Road to help finance construction of the Dulles Rail Project? Would you say … (Read answers.)

    34. Construction Zone n = 400 Other Corridor n = 400 One Third of Residents Feel A Toll Increase Is Inappropriate Question: How appropriate is it to increase tolls on the Dulles Toll Road to help finance construction of the Dulles Rail Project? Would you say … (Read answers.)

    35. Residents In the Eastern Corridor and in Tysons Are More Supportive of the Toll Increase East region: I-66 from Roslyn to DTR interconnect. Includes Arlington, Falls Church, and McLean. Tysons: DTR from I-66 to Leesburg Pike. Includes Tysons and Vienna. Airport: DTR from Leesburg Pike to Airport. Loudoun: Airport out into Loudoun. Question: How appropriate is it to increase tolls on the Dulles Toll Road to help finance construction of the Dulles Rail Project? Would you say … (Read answers.)

    36. Aware of Toll Increase n = 585 Not Aware of Toll Increase n = 587 Those Who Are Already Aware of the Toll Increase Are More Likely to Believe Toll Increase Is Appropriate Believe toll increase is somewhat or very appropriate Weighted data Question: Are you aware that tolls on the Dulles Toll Road will likely be increased to finance the construction of the Dulles Rail Project?

    37. Heavy DTR Users – Who Pay the Toll More Frequently – Are More Likely to Think the Toll Increase Is Inappropriate Heavy DTR Users n = 456 Other DTR Users n = 744 Question: How appropriate is it to increase tolls on the Dulles Toll Road to help finance construction of the Dulles Rail Project? Would you say … (Read answers.)

    38. Supporters n = 327 Non-supporters n = 51 The Primary Criticism of Raising the Tolls: Those Who Use the Rail Should Pay When asked why they believe the toll increase is not appropriate, residents respond with the complaint that tolls from the DTR should not be used to pay for the rail project. Weighted data Question: Why do you say “inappropriate” (to increase tolls on the Dulles Toll Road to help finance the construction of the Dulles Rail Project)?

    39. Project Supporters Are Slightly Less Likely to Know That Tolls Collected on the DTR Are Already Being Used to Fund Services in the Dulles Corridor Area Supporters n = 1,086 Non-supporters n = 76 Proportion who know tolls pay for services in the corridor Weighted data Question: Are you aware that a portion of the tolls collected on the Dulles Toll Road are already being used to fund services in the Dulles Corridor area?

    40. Heavy DTR Users Are More Likely than Other DTR Users to Know that the Tolls Are Used to Fund Services in the Corridor Heavy DTR Users n = 456 Other DTR Users n = 744 Proportion who know tolls pay for services in the corridor Question: Are you aware that a portion of the tolls collected on the Dulles Toll Road are already being used to fund services in the Dulles Corridor area?

    41. Key Finding: Sensitivity to the toll increase is not paramount. When motorists know in advance that the toll will be increased, they are more likely to support – or at least accept – the toll increase. Strategic Implication: A public education and information campaign is needed, above and beyond current efforts, to build awareness of the toll increase before it happens.

    42. Intended Usage

    43. Total Sample n = 1,200 High Level of Intended Usage Weighted data Question: How likely are you or others in your household to use the new Metrorail service once it’s in place – assuming it serves the destinations you or others in your household currently seek? Would you say…(Read answers.)

    44. Likely Users Cite a Variety of Reasons for Intended Usage of Dulles Rail Likely Users n = 971 Weighted data Question: What would be you or your household’s main reasons for using the new Metrorail service rather than continuing to travel in the manner you now do?

    45. Supporters n = 1,086 Non-supporters n = 76 Supporters Are Much More Likely To Intend to Use the New Service than Are Non-supporters Weighted data Question: How likely are you or others in your household to use the new Metrorail service – once it’s in place – assuming it serves the destinations you and others in your household currently seek? Would you say…(Read answers.)

    46. Heavy DTR Users Are More Likely to Use the New Rail Service than Are Other DTR Users Heavy DTR Users n = 456 Other DTR Users n = 744 Question: How likely are you or others in your household to use the new Metrorail service – once it’s in place – assuming it serves the destinations you and others in your household currently seek? Would you say…(Read answers.)

    47. Supporters Who Are Likely to Use the Rail Service n = 836 Non-supporters Who Are Likely to Use the New Rail Service n = 54 Supporters See Themselves Using the New Rail Service. Non-supporters Do Not. Weighted data Question: Now please tell me whether you will continue using or driving the Dulles Toll Road or switch to the new Metrorail service – once it is in place – for each of the destinations I read to you.

    48. Heavy DTR Users Are More Likely to Plan to Use the New Rail Service for Work than Are Less Frequent DTR Users Question: Now please tell me whether you will continue using or driving the Dulles Toll Road or switch to the new Metrorail service – once it is in place – for each of the destinations I read to you.

    49. Prospective Users of New Rail Service Are More Likely to Believe the Toll Increase Is Appropriate Likely to Use the New Rail Service n = 950 Not Likely to Use the New Rail Service N = 229 Believe toll increase is appropriate Weighted data Question: How appropriate is it to increase the tolls on the Dulles Toll Road to help finance the construction of the Dulles Rail Project? Would you say…(Read answers.)

    50. Key Finding: Supporters of the Dulles Metrorail Project are better able to envision themselves using the new rail service than are non-supporters. They have already made a “personal” connection with the new service. Strategic Implication: Help non-supporters recognize how they could use the new rail service. When showcasing how the Metro extension will improve access / mobility, demonstrate specific uses of the new rail.