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The Use of Online Methodology to Inform Public Policy Planning: A Case Study from San Francisco See Mobility, Access, and Pricing Study Final Report, Chapter.

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Presentation on theme: "The Use of Online Methodology to Inform Public Policy Planning: A Case Study from San Francisco See Mobility, Access, and Pricing Study Final Report, Chapter."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Use of Online Methodology to Inform Public Policy Planning: A Case Study from San Francisco See Mobility, Access, and Pricing Study Final Report, Chapter 3 Outreach for additional discussion of outreach techniques and synthesis of feedback at For more information about this study, please contact: Liz Brisson ) or Jordon Peugh ) Introduction In Summer 2010, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (Authority) conducted outreach efforts in support of its Mobility, Access, and Pricing Study (MAPS) of a transportation policy known as congestion pricing. The goal of the outreach was to inform and involve the San Francisco Bay Area community in the review of findings and recommendations of the study. As part of these efforts, Knowledge Networks, a GfK Company, conducted three Electronic Town Hall (ETH) meetings--web-based presentation and question-and-answer sessions that allowed the Authority to engage targeted populations in the Bay Area, as well as collect opinions on the study before, during, and after a presentation on the topic. The goal of the ETHs was to receive substantial input from stakeholders representing three distinct regional travel markets: the North Bay, the East Bay, and the South Bay. Zabe Bent & Liz Brisson San Francisco County Transportation Authority Figure 1: Presentation of Mobility and Congestion Pricing Scenarios Conclusions and Implications The ETH sessions allowed the MAPS study team to hear substantial input from regional stakeholders that would be affected by the proposed policy. The dynamic of a meeting with a recruited pool of participants was quite different than the in-person public meetings, which were also used during the overall MAPS project. Anecdotally, the MAPS study team found much more bifurcated, strong opinions (both in support and in opposition) among the members of in-person meetings, whereas the recruited participants represented more moderate individuals than those who typically attend in-person meetings. These sessions complemented other outreach methods used, which included: in-person meetings, webinars, direct outreach presentations to stakeholder groups, focus groups, polling, and social media. This input indicated substantial overall support from regional (as well as local) stakeholders for continuing to pursue development of a congestion pricing policy, and informed the development of several key feedback messages the MAPs team presented to the Authoritys policy-making board. Figure 4: Support indicated for a congestion pricing project. (All session participants – asked in recruitment survey and post-meeting survey.) Jordon Peugh & Jeffrey Shand-Lubbers GfK Results The ETH sessions allowed the Authority to hear input from almost 300 Bay Area residents about possible congestion pricing scenarios in San Francisco. The ETHs allowed for the inclusion of participants who would not have attended an in-person town hall. Through this effort, the Authority was able to reach a broad cross-section of regional stakeholders, covering a wide geographic area, in a short time. The session design allowed participants to submit comments or questions over the course of the entire presentation. The study team reviewed statements of support or opposition that were used to educate policy makers about viewpoints among different stakeholders (see Figure 3 for a few example statements). Further, this project allowed us to gauge the impact of the sessions through the pre- and post-surveys. We found that the sessions had a positive impact on participants opinions about congestion pricing. In the recruitment survey 42% of all session participants supported congestion pricing; after participating in one of the sessions 58% indicated support for congestion pricing in the follow-up survey (see Figure 4). Figure 3: Sample Statements of Support and Opposition (Offered by participants during the presentation.) Figure 2: Example Of Polling Question Presented During Meeting Sample Statements of Support of Continued Study Its beneficial to have a congestion pricing project for San Francisco because the traffic … keeps me from going there…This keeps my dollars out of San Franciscos businesses and your taxes… other people I know have expressed similar thinking. Congestion pricing seems like a good step to take. We in the South Bay definitely need better access to transit, such as Caltrain, and better pricing too. Same Statements of Opposition to Continued Study When you add in all costs of coming to the city: parking, BART, buses, you are beginning to outprice yourselves. People dont trust lock boxes, especially when the state seems to raid local government boxes these days. Introduction In Summer 2010, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (Authority) conducted outreach efforts in support of its Mobility, Access, and Pricing Study (MAPS) of a transportation policy known as congestion pricing. The goal of the outreach was to inform and involve the San Francisco Bay Area community in the review of findings and recommendations of the study. As part of these efforts, Knowledge Networks, a GfK Company, conducted three Electronic Town Hall (ETH) meetings--web-based presentation and question-and-answer sessions that allowed the Authority to engage targeted populations in the Bay Area, as well as collect opinions on the study before, during, and after a presentation on the topic. The goal of the ETHs was to receive substantial input from stakeholders representing three distinct regional travel markets: the North Bay, the East Bay, and the South Bay. Figure 1: Presentation of Mobility and Congestion Pricing Scenarios Introduction In Summer 2010, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (Authority) conducted outreach efforts in support of its Mobility, Access, and Pricing Study (MAPS) of a transportation policy known as congestion pricing. The goal of the outreach was to inform and involve the San Francisco Bay Area community in the review of findings and recommendations of the study. As part of these efforts, Knowledge Networks, a GfK Company, conducted three Electronic Town Hall (ETH) meetings--web-based presentation and question-and-answer sessions that allowed the Authority to engage targeted populations in the Bay Area, as well as collect opinions on the study before, during, and after a presentation on the topic. The goal of the ETHs was to receive substantial input from stakeholders representing three distinct regional travel markets: the North Bay, the East Bay, and the South Bay. Figure 1: Presentation of Mobility and Congestion Pricing Scenarios Explanation of design and methodology Participants for the ETH meetings were recruited through two sources: Knowledge Networks probability-based KnowledgePanel® and e- Rewards, an opt-in online sample provider. Participants were recruited via an online survey that asked them to confirm in which Bay Area county they reside as well as respond to about 10 minutes of survey questions around their opinions on transportation issues in San Francisco. Based on their county of residence, respondents were then invited to participate in one of three ETH meetings. Over 4,000 respondents were invited to participate, 858 agreed to participate, and 282 attended the meetings. An incentive of $20 was provided for participating in the approximately 75 minute-long ETH meetings. In the ETH meetings a member of the MAPS study team presented possible mobility and congestion pricing scenarios (See Figure 1) overlaid with an audio presentation. Each presentation was tailored to the specific Bay Area region where the participants lived, offering the researchers an opportunity to address questions unique to their geographic area. Participants were also asked to respond to polling questions at different intervals throughout the session (see Figure 2). The day following each meeting, participants were invited to take a 4 minute follow-up online survey to offer additional opinions on the study scenarios. 89% of participants responded to the follow-up survey.


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