Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority Polling/Survey Work and Voter Education Campaign

Due Date & Time: May 8, 2023 – 5:00 PM, AZ Time


Mountain Line is seeking proposals from independent consultant firms with experience conducting public opinion polls, engaging with the public, and data analysis to assist with the development of strategic recommendations for communications and messaging for a potential November 2024 ballot initiative. There are two components to this solicitation – Polling/Survey Work and Voter Education Campaign. Firms are invited to submit proposals for both components, or just one component.


Mountain Line has requested several ballot initiatives of Flagstaff voters, and below is a recap of the


• A May 2000 transit ballot initiative for a .0017 sales tax passed with a 59% vote. The initiative was based on the findings of a regional land use and transportation plan which included a recommendation to improve public transportation levels within the City of Flagstaff. After this sales tax passed, the system known today as Mountain Line officially launched in October 2001.

• In May 2006 another transit ballot question was placed before the voters to build the new transit plan. Mountain Line developed an updated transit plan in 2005 that identified several goals, including doubling service levels. The initiative called for a doubling of the existing transit tax from .0017 to .0033 and making the tax permanent. The initiative was narrowly defeated on a 49% positive vote.

• After the loss in 2006, Mountain Line developed a new transit tax question to present to Flagstaff voters in May 2008, effective July 1, 2008. This package included the following propositions and results:

o Proposition 401: Extend the existing .0017 transit tax for 10 years (this proposition needed to pass for any of the other propositions to be relevant). Passed with 78% support.

o Proposition 402: Increase the existing transit tax by 0.02% to support the purchase of hybrid-electric buses to replace diesel vehicles. Passed with 71% support.

o Proposition 403: Increase the existing transit tax by 0.02% to support a high frequency bus route connecting downtown Flagstaff with Woodlands Village, via the NAU campus. Passed with 68% support.

o Proposition 404: Increase the existing transit tax by 0.04% to support additional Mountain Line bus service in areas currently underserved or not served. Passed with 72% support.

o Proposition 405: Increase the existing transit tax by 0.04% to support more frequent bus service on existing routes. Passed with 67% support.

• The collective 0.295% transit tax (total of Propositions 401-405) was set to sunset in 2020.

Mountain Line opted to bring a flat renewal of this tax to the voters in November 2016, offering the agency another opportunity to go to the voters in 2018 if the initiative was not successful. Proposition 411 passed with 71 percent voter support, extending Mountain Line’s base funding through 2030. This means that Mountain Line can continue operating at about the same level of service through 2030.

• In 2018, Mountain Line attempted to increase the transit tax based upon its 2017 Five-Year plan that called for increased frequencies on routes, capital improvements to move buses faster, and extended weekend night service hours. The City of Flagstaff assembled a Citizen’s Transportation Tax Commission (CTTC) in 2017 to consider and evaluate options for renewing and/or expanding the existing transportation tax. There are many needs when it comes to transportation infrastructure, and an additional transit tax was considered as part of the CTTC’s work.

After several meetings, the CTTC made the recommendation to put forth the following items to the Flagstaff City Council to consider placing on the November 2018 ballot as separate initiatives:

o Flat renewal of the existing Transportation Tax to fund major street improvements, pedestrian and bicycle improvements, and general transportation system improvements;

o 0.20% tax increase to fund the construction of a bridge connecting Route 66 and Lone Tree Rd. over the BNSF railroad;

o 0.15% tax increase to fund increased transit service in the City and transit-related capital.

Proposition 419 (Transportation Tax) received 64.6% positive votes. Proposition 420 (Lonetree Overpass) received 51.41% positive votes. Proposition 421 (Transit) received 49.43% positive votes and lost by 293 votes.


Polling and public opinion research services, including:

1. Develop an understanding of the operation and finances of the Mountain Line transit system.

a. Mountain Line will provide a review of organization materials to assist with understanding the needs of the organization.

b. Mountain Line will provide data and a review of the 2023 Five-Year Transit Plan Flagstaff in Motion. This data includes a survey of likely voters.

c. Mountain Line will provide other past survey data as available and requested.

2. Review the 2018 Transit Tax Increase Educational Campaign (materials, presentations, ballot language, etc.) and results.

3. Coordination with a Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) to assess the results of any public opinion surveys conducted and present and discuss implications and application of results to the development of a tax initiative aligned with the needs identified by Flagstaff in Motion.

o Participation in CAC meetings estimated to be 5-7 meetings from April 2023 through

June 2024.

4. Develop a comprehensive strategy for surveys to inform development of tax package aligned with needs identified in Flagstaff in Motion and the recommendations of the CAC. Make recommendations to the CAC for a ballot initiative.

5. Development of one or more public opinion research surveys, including a methodology to be used for a statistically valid sampling of the service area and eligible voter population including, data collection for the surveys and the process for conducting and interpreting public opinion surveys.

6. Present draft and final reports of results. The final report should contain the framework and methodology used, the tabulation of results, key and detailed findings, and conclusions and recommendations. Present findings to any tax committees established by City of Flagstaff

7. Coordination with an educational campaign team to develop an effective communication and messaging strategy based on the analysis and application of survey results.

8. Participate in monthly (could be more frequent as the election draws nearer) phone calls and/or in-person status meetings.

9. Develop and conduct a post-election survey, including data collection and interpretation of results, as needed.

Voter education campaign services, including:

1. Review existing materials regarding the operation and finances of the Mountain Line transit system.

2. Review data from the most recent surveys of likely Flagstaff voters. Past survey data is also available for review.

3. Review the 2018 Proposition 421 educational campaign (materials, presentations, ballot language, etc.) and results.

4. Review Flagstaff in Motion, Mountain Line’s most recent Five-Year Transit Plan.

5. Develop a comprehensive strategy and plan for educating the public about Mountain Line’s ballot initiative(s). This plan must be limited to educating voters and should not include tactics that persuade voters in a certain direction. The plan should include:

a. Key messages

b. Public outreach strategies

c. Media Relations

d. Paid advertising

e. Social Media / Online tactics

f. Negative feedback mitigation

g. Other items, as necessary

6. Design all collateral materials associated with the educational campaign, including but not limited to: Logos, advertisements, brochures/pamphlets, posters, presentations, infographics, social media and online content.

7. Coordinate with the Polling/Survey contractor to gather and/or interpret data as necessary.

8. Participate in the Mountain Line Citizen’s Advisory Committee as necessary.

9. Participate in meetings (virtual and/or in-person) with Mountain Line staff as necessary.

10. Provide leadership and expertise in the execution of the educational campaign.

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