News & Media
Vol. 10, No. 1January 31, 2012
In This Issue …
- Six Stops to Success: Part 2 Continues February 21!
- Election 2011 Recap
- Outlook for Transit Measures in the 2012 Election Cycle
- Washington Governor Supports Transportation Investment
- Recent Reports
Six Stops to Success: Part 2 Continues
February 21: Campaign Budgets
CFTE continues with its free, six-part webinar training series on Tuesday, February 21 with Campaign Budgets: Drafting, Funding and Working with What You've Got.
Six Stops to Success 2 began last November with a recap of results and trends from 2011 elections. Last month, four excellent speakers discussed public involvement and the early education campaign. If you missed either webinar, feel free to download the slides or watch the recording.
Hosted by the Center for Transportation Excellence and the National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates.
2011: A Successful Year for Transit Measures
With a 79% success rate, 2011 was another great year for transit at the ballot box. Voters once again demonstrated their support for investment when the benefits are made clear. Twenty-eight measures were on the ballot in 5 states throughout the year and 22 were approved by voters. Election Day alone resulted in more than $30 million in new funding for transit.
Last year was unusual in that the majority of measures occurred on special or primary ballots with only 11 on Election Day in November. A multitude of property tax increases and renewals made Michigan, once again, the state with the most transit measures.
Big wins for the year included:
- the voting down of an anti-streetcar amendment in Cincinnati
- a property tax increase to support The Rapid in Grand Rapids, MI
- a sales tax increase for C-Tran in Clark County, WA
- the failure of an anti-tolling measure in Washington state that would have prevented funding for light rail
- a sales tax increase in Durham County, NC, which put two neighboring counties in a good position to go to the ballot this year
A complete list of 2011's ballot measures is available here.
Outlook:Transit Measures in the 2012 Election Cycle
Election years tend to result in more initiatives on the ballot and 2012 looks to fall in line with that trend. Several measures have already qualified for ballots early in the year and many communities are actively working on qualifying for the November ballot.
The most anticipated early election of the year will be in Georgia in July. Legislation passed in 2010 divided the state into 12 special taxing districts, gave each of them the authority to create a list of transportation projects and go to the voters for a 1 percent sales tax to fund them. Although several of the districts have some small transit component, Atlanta Metro Region produced a project list that is 51.5% transit investment. The governor has recently made his own appeal to the voters to support these measures.
Later in the year, Clark County, WA is likely to go back to the ballot following a successful measure this past November. Orange and Wake Counties in North Carolina could also be spurred by the success of a sales tax increase in Durham County in 2011. All three counties need to pass a half-cent increase in order to complete a series of regional bus and rail projects.
For a complete list of measures being watched in 2012, visit our website.
WA Governor Supports Transportation Investment
Communities in Washington have been consistent supporters of transportation investment on the ballot for years, but it seems leadership statewide is catching on too.
Governor Christine Gregoire announced earlier this month a new push for transportation investment, including asking lawmakers to raise money through new transportation fees. This recent push follows her request late last year for legislators to allow voters to choose to raise the state sales tax from 6.5 percent to 7 percent for three years to support a variety of programs. The Governor's task force has suggested investing $21 billion in the state's transportation system by 2023.
Seattle voters approved a $17.8 billion package of transit investments in 2008 and several other counties, including Clark, Jefferson, Walla Walla have approved new taxes for transportation investment in the past two years. Statewide, voters turned down a measure last November that would have severely hampered the state's abilities to collect toll revenue and distribute it to the most needed corridors.
APTA has recently released An Inventory of the Criticisms of High-Speed Rail, which includes best practices for responding to critics.
Good Jobs First has produced a great resource, Organizing Riders: A How-To Manual
DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration has produced its 2012 Pocket Guide to Transportation, full of useful statistics on our nation's transportation system.