15 September 2010




CONTACT: Amy Stracke, managing director, AAA Public Relations, (813) 289-1387 office, (813) 569-8876 cell, AStracke@AAASouth.com


Karen Morgan, manager, AAA Public Policy, (813) 289-1442 office, (813) 787-5192 cell, KMorgan@AAASouth.com

 AAA Members STILL DIVIDED on Transportation Referendum

More than half say planned revenue spending places too much emphasis on transit
TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 15, 2010)—In March, AAA surveyed a representative sampling of its Hillsborough County members and found 52.5 percent favored the 1 cent transportation referendum on the upcoming November ballot while 47.5 percent opposed it—a virtual toss up given the survey’s plus/minus 4.9 percent margin of error. Six months later, respondents are still evenly divided and while the numbers have flipped, with 47.3 percent favoring the tax and 52.7 percent opposing it, the difference is still within the margin of error as reflected in a recent AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey fielded the week of September 5. For complete survey results see attached.


When advised of the spending mix for revenues derived from the penny tax—75 percent to public transit and 25 percent to roads and bridges—more than half of survey respondents (52.9%) said the mix places too much emphasis on public transit (a 4.6% increase from the March survey). At the same time, 40 percent think the fund allocation is “just right” (a 4.5% decrease from March) and 7.1 percent think more of the tax revenue should be given to public transit (a very slight decrease from the March survey results). 

AAA’s Consumer Pulse™ survey also showed a slight improvement in awareness of the Cost Affordable 2035 Transportation Plan approved by the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) in 2009. Of those surveyed, 39.3 percent said they were aware of the plan prior to the survey compared with 31.5 percent who were aware in March—an increase of almost eight percentage points. Note: The survey was fielded prior to distribution of a newspaper insert which provided HillsboroughCounty residents with a comprehensive overview of the MPO’s plan.
“AAA supports giving Hillsborough County voters the opportunity to express their opinions on this important transportation issue at the ballot box,” said Kevin Bakewell, Sr. Vice President, Public and Government Relations. “We encourage all AAA members and county voters to do their part and vote on November 2.”
The AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey was conducted by telephone among 400 AAA Hillsborough County members from September 7-10.  The survey has a maximum margin of error of +/- 4.9 percentage points.
AAA Auto Club South is the third largest affiliate of AAA, with 78 branch offices serving more than 4.1 million members in Florida, Georgia, Middle and West Tennessee and Puerto Rico. Since its founding in 1938, AAA Auto Club South has worked to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve travel safety.

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