Sociology surveys for the community

ISBS investigators recently completed two large, three-county telephone surveys: a Public Opinion Survey for the Heart of Florida United Way and a marketing survey for Metroplan Orlando, our regional transportation planning agency.

The HFUW survey of 549 residents of Orange, Seminole and Osceola Counties showed that charitable giving is generally down as a result of the continuing recession. Nonetheless, Heart of Florida United Way still has strong name recognition in the local market and enjoys a very high level of public support. Majorities exceeding 80% are confident that the United Way “does a good job,” trust United Way to accomplish what it says it will do, and believe the organization is effective in advancing the common good. 82% of local residents have very or somewhat favorable opinions of the organization. These and other survey results will be presented to the HFUW Board of Directors in the coming months.

The Metroplan Orlando survey of more than 800 local residents was the third large survey ISBS has done for the organization since 2005. As in previous surveys, very large majorities of three- county residents say that transportation issues are important to them and their families and to the region as a whole. People in the region are not satisfied with what is currently being done to solve regional transportation issues; the two-thirds majority thinks that one problem here is that not enough money is being spent to address transportation problems.

There is also wide-spread sentiment that the region needs a better balance in its transportation system between roadways and public transit. In- deed, a surprisingly large majority (64%) agrees that “the only realistic solution to transportation and congestion issues in the region is to stop building highways and instead invest in public transportation – like passenger rail and bus systems” – up from 47% in 2009 and probably the most dramatic shift in public opinion registered in the survey.

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