I. SURVEY BACKGROUND
The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce conducted an informational survey on the Silver Line Metrorail Project during the month of February 2012.
• Why did we conduct the survey?
The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce advocates on a local, state and national level for the interests of our member companies and the general Dulles Corridor business community. We want to more fully understand local companies’ perspective on the impact that the Silver Line will have on the Dulles Corridor business community. The results of the survey will enable us to speak to stakeholders and project funding partners about local business interests in our advocacy outreach around this project.
• Who wrote the questions?
The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce’s Communications and Public Policy Committees wrote the survey questions. Our committees are comprised of Chamber members.
• How was the survey distributed?
The survey was conducted electronically and was distributed through email marketing as well as on our website and social media platforms. The survey was open to the general business community, which includes members of our Chamber.
• Who responded to the survey?
Over 400 individuals responded to the survey, representing over 20 industries. The top industries that responded, in order of representation are:
1. Business/Professional Services
4. Real Estate/Construction
II. KEY FINDINGS
• The business community expressed overwhelming support for the project. A large majority does not want the Silver Line to end in Reston, but wants to see the rail extend to Dulles Airport in Loudoun County or beyond.
• The top industries that responded to the survey represent the top industries cited for major economic growth in a recent study on Metropolitan Washington D.C.’s economic forecast, released by Dr. Steven Fuller of George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis (http://bit.ly/wlNC0e).
• A large majority of employers believe that the presence of rail will have a positive impact on recruiting and view the proximity to rail service as an important factor in deciding where to locate an office.
• There is a high level of awareness among the business community about the project. However, a majority of employees feel that their employers are not communicating internally about the project. The business community wants the Chamber to provide more information to educate the business community about the Silver Line project.
• A majority of employees want to receive an incentive to use the rail to commute, while employers are split on providing incentives to their employees.
Given these findings, our Chamber plans to share the results with key decision makers, stakeholders and project funding partners. We will increase our advocacy for Phase II to reach completion. We will push for more state funding to be dedicated to the project and work to secure federal funding as well, which will help keep the tolls at a manageable amount for the Dulles Corridor business community.
III. SURVEY RESPONSES
• Familiarity with the Silver Line Metrorail Project
-92% of respondents are somewhat to very familiar with the project details.
•Where to End the Silver Line
-4.1% of respondents think the Silver Line should end at Wiehle Avenue in Reston/Fairfax Co., which is the end of Phase I of the project.
-32% think that it should end at Dulles Airport in Dulles/Loudoun County.
-47% think that it should end at Brambleton in Ashburn/Loudoun County, which is the end of Phase II of the project.
• Impact of the Silver Line on Business Recruiting Efforts
-35% of respondents think that the presence of rail will have a very positive impact on recruiting efforts;
-30% think that the presence of rail will have a somewhat positive impact; and
-28% think that the presence of rail will have no impact.
• Proximity of Rail Stations and Office Locations
- 36% of respondents think that proximity of rail service is very important when deciding where to locate an office;
- 27% think that proximity of rail service is somewhat important; and
- 12% think that proximity of rail service is not important.
• Use of Public/Alternate Transportation to Get to Rail Stations
- 22% of respondents would be very likely to use public/alternate transportation to get to a rail station;
- 31% would be somewhat likely; and
- 27% are unsure.
• Likeliness to Use the Silver Line to Commute
- 24% are very likely;
- 22% are somewhat likely;
- 15% are somewhat unlikely; and
- 38% of respondents are very unlikely to use the rail to commute.
• Employer Incentives to Use Rail to Commute
- 62% of employees would like their employer to provide an incentive to use the rail to commute.
- 29% of employers would be willing to provide an incentive to employees to use rail to commute;
- 13% would not be willing; and
- 27% are not sure.
• Internal Business Communications On Silver Line
- 61% of businesses are not communicating internally about the Silver Line Metrorail Project.
Of those business that are communicating internally:
- 75 are using informational emails;
- 25 are using their company website
- 19 are using social media; and
- 16 are hosting information sessions.
• The Chamber as a Resource on the Silver Line Metrorail Project
- 48% of respondents would like more dedicated email communications about the project;
- 41% would like more information on the Chamber website;
- 28% would like more social media posts; and
- 22% would like us to host information/Q&A sessions.
For more information, please contact Amy Marlow, Communications Director at the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, at 703.707.9045 or AmyM@RestonChamber.org.