Nathan Fletcher discusses the poll results. Courtesy MTS

The Metropolitan Transit System released poll results Thursday showing majority support for a sales tax increase to support investment in mass transit.

“We have significant public interest in bringing fast, safe, reliable public transit to San Diego and the region,” said San Diego County Supervisor and MTS board member Nathan Fletcher.

The poll, conducted Feb. 9-18 by FM3 Research, sought to measure the level of support for a half-cent sales tax to fund transit improvements. The poll found 44 percent of likely voters were “definitely yes,” 23 percent “probably yes” and 3 percent “lean yes.” I

“The level of support is in line with early polling in similar and successful projects across the state,” the polling company concluded.

The poll is seen as the first step in developing a ballot initiative to support sales tax funding.

“We are taking the next steps to creating a shared vision of the San Diego we want to see and this includes real choices in how residents move throughout their day,” said MTS board chair and San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez. “We must be intentional and inclusive. Part of that is a robust public participation plan to shape the transit that will help us now and in the future.”

The poll also asked respondents to rank possible transit projects. The top four were:

  • Improving roads to support transit services
  • Connecting the trolley to the San Diego International Airport
  • Improving safety at bus stops and trolley stations, including lighting and adding security
  • Increasing transit services connecting jobs with housing for lower-income residents

A country-wide transportation ballot initiative in 2016 did achieve the necessary two-thirds majority, but a new transit initiative may be presented only to voters who live in areas served by MTS.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.