Higher Fuel Costs Have Texans Rethinking Transportation

The rising cost of fuel seems to have Texans rethinking how they get around. Rod Rice reports on a new statewide poll conducted for the Texas Lyceum, a non-profit leadership group.
One thousand Texans were selected randomly for the telephone survey. Daron Shaw was one of the pollsters and is a Professor at the University of Texas.

"51% indicated that they would strongly consider postponing the family vacation. Upwards of 60% said they would strongly consider a more energy efficient automobile."

Shaw says almost two-thirds said they'd strongly consider carpooling and more then half said they'd strongly consider tasking public transportation to work or school. Shaw says a number of public policy questions found that Texans strongly support regional rail lines linking major cities, increased maintenance of existing roads and increased spending for public transportation such as light rail.

"We didn't specifically put price tags on a lot of these things. We did ask people about a gas tax and there was significant opposition to that, but when you say you want to spend more money that's a fairly easy thing to do and it's an expression of, I think, interest in the problem and a desire to see solutions. It will be interesting to see if people are actually willing to pay more out of pocket to finance light rail, to finance improvements in roads and things like that."

The poll found that two-thirds of us don't support toll roads and that increases to 70% for making existing roads toll roads.

And 60% want a ban on using a cell phone while driving while a third said they do just that.

Bio photo of Rod Rice

Rod Rice

Local Anchor, Morning Edition

Rod Rice became fascinated with radio at an early age, while sitting on his Grandfather’s lap listening to his "programs" on the big Emerson Radio...