Posted on Sep 13, 2023
I-4 Express, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Five’s initial venture into tolled managed lanes, has been met with a level of public approval that exceeds pre-opening expectations. We know this through a key marketing tool that offers significant value to engineering projects: the public opinion survey.
The Global-5 Communications team conducted public opinion research on behalf of FDOT over six weeks this past June and July. The 2023 I-4 Express Public Opinion Research Survey followed up on a pre-opening study and gauged changes in drivers’ overall sentiment toward I-4 Express. It also uncovered appreciated features — information that can help with messaging.
According to Gabriel Smith, who serves as the Global-5 project manager for I-4 Express work, public opinion surveys provide the quantifiable data that is necessary for defensible communications decision-making.
“I-4 Express is an FDOT program that provides drivers an option to improve travel time reliability,” Smith said. “Our job is to communicate that to drivers so that they are aware of both its benefits and proper usage. Surveys help us determine which messages audiences need to hear, and how to hone those messages so they are well received.”
For example, one message that will be highlighted in future communications efforts is the absence of large trucks in the express lanes. The survey uncovered that 68 percent of respondents are more likely to use I-4 Express now that they know the lanes are free from these vehicles.
The 2023 I-4 Express Public Opinion Research Survey encompassed 19 questions determined by Global-5’s marketing experts in conjunction with our FDOT project managers. We linked to it from the I-4 Express website; e-mailed it to I-4 Express news subscribers; posted it to I-4 Beyond the Ultimate social media; and included it in the I-4 Beyond the Ultimate e-newsletter.
FDOT also promoted the survey on its social media, and the local news media picked up the story, bringing in additional respondents. The outreach efforts resulted in more than 750 people responding to the survey, providing a broad sampling of opinions.
Global-5 wrapped up the project by performing a detailed data analysis and presenting its findings to FDOT.