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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Harris Poll: Many U.S. citizens unaware of HSR projects in their state, but majority support state and federal HSR funding


Only one-third of U.S. citizens living near one of the 10 federally designated high-speed rail (HSR) corridors are aware of a high-speed rail project under development in their state and 45 percent are unsure, according to a recent poll conducted by market research firm Harris Interactive.

Conducted between Jan. 17 and 24, the online poll surveyed 2,566 adults to gauge their awareness of, intention to use and position on funding high-speed rail.

HSR project awareness was highest in states where systems are developing the fastest, according to Harris. Sixty-eight percent of California respondents and 60 percent of Florida respondents knew about projects in their respective state. However, only 31 percent of Chicago-area and 28 percent of New York respondents were aware of HSR projects.

Two-thirds of those polled said they are “somewhat” or “very” likely to use HSR when traveling for pleasure, while 33 percent said they’d use it for business.

In addition, 64 percent of survey respondents said they “somewhat” or “strongly” support using state funds for HSR and 62 percent said they support using federal funds. In California, that figure rose to 70 percent support state funding for HSR and 73 percent supporting federal HSR funding. Two-thirds of Florida residents support state and federal funding for HSR, according to Harris.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/24/2011