November 5, 2012

Contact: Jason Jordan 202.349.1037
              Allison Leach 202.349.1037


Over $100 Billion in New Local Transportation Funding at Stake on Election Day
Success Rate for Transit Ballot Measures Stands at 85% for 2012


The Center for Transportation Excellence is monitoring 19 transportation measures on ballots in 12 states tomorrow. If all measures are approved, more than $100 billion in new local funding would be invested in transportation. In the very first year of implementation, $3.4 billion would be available for vital projects like restoring bus service, expanding rail lines, and accelerating transit projects in communities from Los Angeles to Chapel Hill, NC.

A historic number of transportation measures have been placed on ballots in 2012. Heading into Election Day, voters have approved 85% of the 39 measures that have already gone before them this year. Since 2000, CFTE has monitored the continuing trend of states and communities asking voters to approve new transportation investments. The long-term success rate for these measures stands at a strong 70%, a rate double that of ballot measures generally.

Twelve of tomorrow’s transportation measures deal directly with finance, the most prominent of which is Measure J in Los Angeles County. Voters will be asked to extend the current half-cent sales tax that was just approved in 2008 for an additional 30 years. This will allow the community to complete seven transit projects in 13 years instead of 27. Orange County, NC seeks to follow the 2011 success of neighboring Durham County with a new half-cent sales tax to support countywide bus and rail investment. Voters in other regions will be asked to support new bonds and property levies, and in a unique case, Memphis voters will be asked to raise their gas tax by one cent to support the local transit authority. Details on all pending transportation measures are available at

Year after year, voters have challenged conventional wisdom by approving new investment and continued financial support for public transportation at the ballot box. “Despite a national focus on deficit reduction and reduced spending, 2012 is building up to have a historic number of measures and level of support for transit investment—proving that voters understand the importance public transportation in their communities,” said CFTE Director Jason Jordan.

CFTE will be announcing results live on our social media feeds—follow us on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates. On Thursday, November 8, CFTE will host a webinar to analyze the results and trends from this year’s elections. “2012 Transit Elections: Results & Trends” will be cosponsored by the National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates (NAPTA). Free registration for this webinar is available at

The Center for Transportation Excellence is a non-partisan research group based in Washington, D.C.