Transportation improvement and the reduction of traffic congestion and air pollution are the main reasons 85% of Denver-area residents believe the Regional Transportation District’s FasTracks program was a good decision, according to a recent public opinion survey of residents living in the eight-county metropolitan region.

Nearly a decade after metro-area taxpayers approved the build-out of the FasTracks mass transit program, an overwhelming majority continue to believe the benefits of more light rail, commuter rail and bus rapid transit outweigh any other considerations. According to the survey, Denver-area residents cited reduced traffic and air pollution and the creation of thousands of new jobs as the biggest benefits of FasTracks.

“This survey shows once again that a strong majority of the public continues to support FasTracks and what the program is and will be accomplishing,” said Phil Washington, general manager of RTD. “We are building a mass transit system that is already considered a national model, and we’re glad that our region has the foresight to acknowledge the benefits for generations to come.”

Some 800 Denver-area residents responded to the public opinion survey, conducted May 29 to June 5 by BBC Research & Consulting. The survey’s margin of error was plus or minus 3.5%.

Among the key findings of the FasTracks 2013 public opinion survey:

• 85% of respondents stated that approval of FasTracks was a good decision.

• The most cited reasons for FasTracks being “a good decision” were “improves transportation” and “reduces traffic/congestion.”

• 73% of respondents believe reducing traffic congestion and the creation of thousands of new jobs were the biggest benefits of completing FasTracks.

• RTD users (83%) are more likely to have positive impressions of FasTracks than nonusers (77%).

• Those who disapprove of FasTracks cited “too expensive or budget issues” as the main reason.

The FasTracks public opinion survey was conducted as a way of gaining a better understanding of the public’s awareness, support and favorability of RTD and its FasTracks transit expansion program approved for Denver metro voters in 2004.

The phone survey was conducted through a random sampling of residents via landline and cell phone numbers across the eight-county RTD service area.

FasTracks is building out six new commuter rail and light rail lines, bus rapid transit service, more parking spaces and is redeveloping the historic Denver Union Station as a multimodal transit-oriented development hub for trains, buses, bikes and pedestrians when it opens in 2014.