Torontonians Divided Over Best Solution for City’s Transit

Residents of Toronto are split on the best transit solution for their city, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll conducted in partnership with the Toronto Star has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of 801 adults in the City of Toronto, 52 per cent of respondents would like to expand the subway system, while 48 per cent prefer to build and expand the light rail transit system.

Residents of Downtown Toronto are in favour of the light rail transit system (55%), while those in the West (56%), East (61%) and York (58%) select the subway.

Only a third of respondents (35%) are willing to pay more for subways through road tolls or other increased fees or taxes. The level of rejection for this idea is consistent across all regions.

The level of trust in the main political stakeholders on the issue of Toronto’s transit and commuter issues is low, with the City Council (41%) ahead of Premier Dalton McGuinty (34%) and only one-in-four Torontonians (25%) expressing confidence in Mayor Rob Ford on this file. Still, three-in-five Torontonians (60%) support having the Government of Ontario step in and take control of city transit in Toronto, including 44 per cent of those who voted for Ford in the 2010 mayoral election.

Torontonians are more likely to express satisfaction with the way things are going in Canada (61%) and the Province of Ontario (53%) than in their own city (38%). Residents of Toronto are also more likely to approve of Premier McGuinty (45%), their City Council (41%) and Prime Minister Stephen Harper (also 41%) than Mayor Ford (31%). In fact, 53 per cent of Torontonians say their opinion of Ford has worsened over the course of the past three months.

Almost three-in-four respondents (72%) think the view of council should ultimately prevail if there is a disagreement with the mayor. Among Torontonians who voted for Ford in 2010, three-in-five (59%) believe the mayor should have the final say in a dispute, while 41 per cent side with council.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

Methodology: From February 23 to February 24, 2012, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 801 randomly selected adults in the City of Toronto who are Angus Reid Forum panellists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of the City of Toronto. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

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