In April, 2011, Communitech conducted a survey of high tech employees. The survey was delivered on SurveyMonkey.
The results are junk, for the following reasons:
- Anyone could fill out the survey, as long as they knew the web address. There were no questions about who was answering it or where they lived or worked.
- There were no restrictions on how many times a person could fill out the survey. (There was no log-in, and it did not detect the IP address to prevent someone from filling it out multiple times.)
- Communitech did not make public who they sent the survey to, but I happen to know that it was sent to Open Text employees in Waterloo and Richmond Hill. The Richmond Hill group was inappropriate, as Open Text runs a shuttle bus from Richmond Hill to Waterloo for those employees, so they don't drive or park here and they don't pay taxes here. Who else was informed of it? No information was revealed. The survey is so biased that I have no faith in the sample selection.
The questions were slanted and the analysis of the answers was extremely biased. For example:
- One question asked, "Will you take LRT" and the analysis was "More than half of respondents would themselves take LRT", but the question is too vague. A person could answer yes if they planned to try it out once.
- Here's another heavily slanted question. The question should have been phrased as "How do you rate the following options" or "Which option do you prefer" not "LRT is better than". Plus, there's no option for people who oppose LRT. This is not research: it's propaganda. Here's the exact question:
- LRT would be better than:
- More cars on the road
- More buses on the road
- Alternate express transit options (ie: iXpress Buses)
- Encouraging more people to cycle, blade or to walk to work
- Investing in other public transit systems (ie: increase ViaRail trains, encourage GoTransit)
- LRT would be better than:
Communitech has been a powerful supporter of LRT for at least two years, and its CEO, Iain Klugman, has been quoted in the Record repeatedly supporting LRT. However, Communitech issued a press release claiming that it felt it must support LRT after hearing from tech employees in this survey. You can read the Record article here: www.therecord.com/news/local/article/529561--technology-environmental-groups-add-support-for-light-rail-transit
As a matter of fact, tech employees are not a demographic that will be likely to take LRT. They work very long hours, are highly paid, and many of them have children. Communitech has its own reasons for supporting LRT, but its claims about the tech work force are false.
You can see the survey (which I copied from Survey Monkey when it was still available online) and Communitech's results in the following documents.