“And the survey sez…”

The AUTO CHANNEL carried the results of several surveys conducted by PierPASS officials during the first four weeks of the OffPeak program’s operations. Everything was positive, of course, and the article was introduced with this favorable headline:
“PierPASS Surveys Show Efficiency at Terminals, Overall Support From Truck Drivers”

The PierPASS Truck Driver Survey revealed that:
— 73 % of the drivers said they have experienced an improvement in traffic since the program’s July 23 launch. “The terminals and the freeways have been a lot less congested,” said J.E. “Traffic is moving faster.”
— 58 % reported being able to make more cargo trips with OffPeak, while 18 % have been unable to do so; the rest were uncertain. “I can make one extra trip a day.” said R.J. This is significant as drivers are typically paid per delivery, not by the hour.
— Asked “What is your overall feeling about OffPeak.” a plurality (47 %) reported generally positive feelings, with 38 % reporting generally negative feelings and 15 % undecided or split. The Truck Driver Survey, however, was conducted between July 27th and August 6th, and PierPASS interviewed 126 drivers.

But here’s the rub. Only 126 drivers were interviewed? What about the other several thousand drivers that are being forced into this uncomfortable situation? Will they be interviewed? Don’t hold your breath. [Does J.E. have a real name? And what about R.J.? They call this a survey?]

One of our commentaries last week, Article 25, was a reprint of a report written for the Associated Press by Alex Veiga. We inserted our usual comments, of course, but we aren’t the only ones who question the accuracy of the PierPASS surveys. The truck drivers themselves are telling tales out of school. Take a look at these headlines used for Alex Veiga’s report by other newspapers.

The News Tribune in Tacoma headlined it this way:
“LA, Long Beach ports delay truckers”

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette introduced the story like this:
“Port congestion still riles truckers”

MSNBC headlined the story with these words:
“Plan to ease port congestion gets mixed reviews”

And the RedNova headline read like this:
“Port program met with productivity issues; Truck drivers say longshoremen delay evening pickups”.

[Do the feelings and comments of the drivers justify the terminology used in the above PierPASS survey announcement? “Efficiency”? “Support”? It’s all smoke.]