When it comes to transportation, most Americans embrace the conservative tenet that, wherever feasible, the users of government services should pay their associated costs. A new Reason-Rupe poll of 1,200 Adults found that:
- 58 percent say they think new roads and highways should be funded by tolls instead of tax increases, while 28 percent prefer tax increases over tolls;
- 77 percent of Americans oppose increasing the federal gas tax, 19 percent favor raising it;
- 59 percent of Americans say they would pay to use a toll road if it saved them "significant" time;
- 57 percent support converting HOV lanes into HOT lanes;
- 50 percent oppose, and 39 percent support, variably-priced tolls;
- 33 percent say transit should get a slice of the funding pie that exceeds its ridership share and 33 percent say it should get funding equal to its ridership share;
The poll, taken throughout the fourth quarter of 2011, was clearly not of an audience that skewed conservative, either. It found President Obama with positive approval ratings -- 49 percent approve and only 47 percent disapprove.