Increased SeaBus frequency is one of the transit service improvements that would go ahead if a 0.5 per cent Congestion Improvement Tax is approved by voters.

Increased SeaBus frequency is one of the transit service improvements that would go ahead if a 0.5 per cent Congestion Improvement Tax is approved by voters.

Referendum poll shows slip in transit tax support

Yes side holds lead with 46 per cent support but survey finds that has weakened (with interactive charts)

Support for a new 0.5 per cent sales tax in Metro Vancouver transit expansion has slipped to 46 per cent in the latest online poll by Insights West.

The proportion of probable and definite Yes voters was down from 52 per cent in a previous December survey, while the No vote rose three points to 42 per cent.

About 10 per cent aren’t sure how they’d vote.

Insights West vice-president Mario Canseco said the latest poll was conducted after the provincial government unveiled the final ballot, which is less specific about the rapid transit lines that would be built in Surrey and Vancouver.

The results continue to show drivers are more likely to oppose the new tax (49 per cent No to 40 per cent Yes), while Yes votes are much more likely from transit users (61 per cent) and those who bike or walk (51 per cent.)

“While the Yes side is still ahead, the proportion of definite supporters remains low,” Canseco said. “Drivers are now more likely to say they will vote No, and the level of support from transit riders, cyclists and walkers has dropped noticeably in a month.”

Sixty-three per cent of Yes voters said the expansion plan will address traffic problems in the Lower Mainland, while 71 per cent said that although they’re dissatisfied with TransLink they believe a Yes vote is the best way to deal with current and future transit problems.

Nearly three-quarters of No voters think there are other ways to fund the transportation projects and 71 per cent said they don’t have confidence in TransLink to properly deliver the expansion.

The poll shows large numbers of Metro Vancouver residents (39 per cent) still haven’t heard of the plebiscite, including more than half of the critical 18-34 age group that proponents hope will be most likely to vote Yes.

Fifty-five per cent said they don’t have enough detail yet about what will improvements will take place in their community if the referendum passes.

Metro mayors are vowing to do a better job of outlining the local benefits when the formal Yes campaign launches later this month.

The No campaign launched last week, arguing for spending restraint by local cities and TransLink to avoid adding the new tax.

Insights West’s online survey of 643 Metro residents ran Jan. 9 to 12 and has a margin of error of plus or minus four per cent, 19 times out of 20.

REFEReNDUM POLL |Crear infográficos

Surrey North Delta Leader