News & Media
Vol. 10, No. 2May 04, 2012
In This Issue …
- Six Stops to Success 2 Concludes May 15
- Baton Rouge Secures Dedicated Local Funding
- No FasTracks Measure for Denver in 2012
- Virginia Beach Voters to Advise on Light Rail Extension
- Upcoming Measures
- Recent Reports
Six Stops to Success 2 Concludes May 15
REGISTER NOW FOR SOCIAL MEDIA SESSION
CFTE wraps up its latest webinar training series on May 15 with Social Media: Finding Content, Making Time & Innovative Uses. Panelists on this webinar will provide innovative examples and detailed strategies for taking your agency, organization or campaign's social media use from an active presence to an interactive and influential force.
If you're still a few steps behind with Twitter, Facebook and blogging, visit our page from the first Six Stops to Success series to download materials from the intro to social media session. Recordings and slides are available from all of our past training sessions.
Register Now to Join us on May 15!
This series is hosted in collaboration with the National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates.
Baton Rouge Secures Dedicated Local Funding
On April 21, voters in Baton Rouge and Baker, LA approved a 10.6 mill property tax increase to support the Capital Area Transit System. In its first year, the tax is expected to bring in $16.7 million in Baton Rouge and $636,000 in Baker. This is more than double the current budget that relies on rider fares for a quarter of its funding. When combined with other revenue sources, CATS will now operate with an annual budget of $30 million, which is the level recommended by the Blue Ribbon Commission last year.
Voters in Zachary, which also receives service from CATS, failed to approve the measure and will likely see their service trimmed back.
CATS operates 20 fixed routes and 90 buses and vans. With this new dedicated revenue, East Baton Rouge Parish is expected to benefit from expanded routes, reduced wait times and more buses.
No FasTracks Measure for Denver in 2012
The Regional Transportation District (RTD) Board has decided not to place a sales tax measure on the November ballot for the FasTracks project. Various proposals were made after it became clear that current sales tax revenue would not be sufficient for on-time completion of construction. A 0.4 cent sales tax increase was proposed, but RTD was unable to reach a consensus on the specifics of the plan and timing of the measure.
The FasTracks project was set in motion when voters approved a 0.4 cent increase in November 2004 for a $4.7 billion, 12-year transit expansion plan. The projected timeline and costs began increasing almost immediately as the economy caused sales tax revenue to decline and the railroads increased the price to RTD for the use of their right of ways. RTD still intends to build all the rail lines promised, but the completion date for the North Metro and Northwest lines will be pushed back to the early 2040s--about 20 years later than scheduled--without additional funding.
Virginia Beach Voters to Advise on Light Rail Extension
On Election Day 2012, voters in Virginia Beach, VA will have the opportunity to advise their local elected officials on the quality of public transportation they would like in the future. The City Council decided last week to allow voters to weigh in on whether The Tide light rail line should be extended from Norfolk into Virginia Beach.
The Tide, which is opened in the summer of 2011, is the first light rail line in Virginia. It currently operates within the city of Norfolk but multiple extensions throughout the Hampton Roads region are under consideration. It is currently estimated that it would cost about $250 million to extend the line to the Virginia Beach town center and $800 million to go all the way to the waterfront. The City Council will have final say on whether the project goes forward, which would also require a federal funding commitment.
In a 1999 advisory measure on light rail, Virginia Beach voters turned it down 44% to 56%. With a dramatically changed economy and a successful light rail starter line, a different result is within reach on November's ballot.
Voters in Vienna and Parkersburg, WV will be asked to approve a two-year renewal of a property tax levy for the Mid-Ohio Valley Transit Authority, which operates Easy Rider. The levy would generate up to $745,125 in Vienna and up to $1,738,650 in Parkersburg.
After years of work to get a measure before voters, Washington County, AR residents will finally be asked to approve a 1/4 cent sales tax to support Ozark Regional Transit. If approved, the tax is expected to generate $7.5 million annually.
For a complete list of 2012 transit ballot measures, visit our website: http://cfte.org/success/2012BallotMeasures.asp
The Miller Center at the University of Virginia released a report on communicating transportation needs and priorities. Are We There Yet? Selling American on Transportation recommends four key strategies for reconciling our infrastructure investment needs with underwhelming political will and public interest.