News & Media
CFTE Express Vol.14, No.4October 06, 2016
In This Issue …
- November 8 2016: A Historic Day for Transit Ballot Measures
- Excited About the Upcoming Elections? Join Our Conversation!
- Upcoming Events
November 8, 2016: A Historic Day for Transit Ballot Measures
This year, voters nationwide have an unprecedented opportunity to take advances in public transportation options into their own hands. A record-breaking 70 measures will have gone before voters before year end. On Election Day alone, voters around the country will decide on over $175 billion in local funding for public transportation. This is exciting because it means individuals have a unique opportunity to shape the future of transportation the US. But for communities to enjoy the lion’s share of that $175 billion, voters need to understand the benefits expanded mobility options can bring to their communities and get out and vote on November 8th.
Of the 70 transit measures this year, 43 will appear on the November 8th ballot. We’ve pulled out some of the biggest and most pivotal measures on that list to highlight for you here:
Los Angeles, CA: LA County Residents will consider Measure M, a permanent half-cent sales tax along with a renewal of the current half-cent, to fund transportation projects in the region. Approximately $98 billion of the $120 billion measure will go to transit expansion and enhancements. If passed, revenue from this measure would fund projects including the Purple line extension, numerous light rail extensions (of the Crenshaw line, Green line, and Gold line), an airport people mover, a Sepulveda Pass transit corridor, improved bus networks, local street and bicycle access enhancements, and new highway construction and capacity improvements. “Yes on Measure M,” the campaign advocating for passage of the initiative, is working hard to communicate its merits to voters. Polling indicates support for the measure just above the necessary two-thirds threshold.
A quick side note about California. The state has 17 transit measures on the ballot this November. The state-wide two-thirds majority threshold for ballot initiatives makes some of these races close, but they’ve generally been polling well. Support at the ballot box this year will ensure California continues to be a leader when it comes to transit connectivity and innovation.
Seattle, WA: The local transit agency, Sound Transit, is asking voters to approve a $54 billion measure that will build upon the existing mass transit system including light rail, commuter rail, and bus services. The measure, referred to as Sound Transit 3 (ST3), is a mix of sales taxes (half-cent increase), property taxes (0.25-mill increase), and motor vehicle excise taxes (0.8 percent increase) collected for 15 years. Residents in Pierce, King, and Snohomish counties will be voting on the measure. Mass Transit Now is the campaign pushing for the measure’s passage. The measure enjoys broad support from local community organizations, elected officials, municipalities, labor unions, and the business community.
Detroit, MI: The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan (RTA) is going to voters this November with a proposal to develop a bus rapid transit system, a commuter rail between Ann Arbor and Detroit, and other transit-related projects. To fund these projects, they are asking residents in four counties (Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and Washtenaw) to approve a 1.2 mill property tax for the next 20 years. A local advocacy organization called Citizens for Connecting our Communities is running the campaign urging residents in the four counties to vote yes for regional transit on November 8th.
Atlanta, GA: Atlanta residents have an exciting opportunity to invest in transit and other transportation projects on Election Day as they consider two different ballot measures. The first is a city-wide 40-year half-cent sales tax to fund MARTA service expansion in Atlanta, including improved local bus service, new streetcar lines, and building infill stations. Atlanta city residents will also vote on an addition 0.4 percent sales tax to fund non-transit transportation projects, including beltline right-of-way acquisitions, bike and pedestrian infrastructure projects, and street improvements. It’s also important to note that, this year, voters in Fulton County who live outside of the Atlanta city limits will also consider a 0.75 percent sales tax for transportation. However, no funding from this measure will go to transit in Fulton County.
Wake County, NC: The Raleigh side of the Research Triangle is set to decide on a plan to improve transit in Wake County and connect it with systems in neighboring Durham and Orange Counties. To make this plan a reality, voters must approve a half-cent sales tax. Wake Transit, the agency that would receive the revenue from this tax, estimates the measure would generate around $1 billion over the next ten years. This revenue would be used for a list of projects including drastically expanding existing bus service, installing 20 miles of new BRT in major corridors, and setting up a 37-mile commuter rail between Raleigh and Durham. Moving Wake County Forward is the name of the campaign that’s formed to advocate for passage of this measure.
Indianapolis, IN: Voters in Marion County, IN have the opportunity to decide on a 0.25 percent income tax measure that would raise an estimated $56 million annually to fund improved service and new BRT construction. They are the first of six counties in the region to go to voters with such a request since the state legislature passed a bill allowing counties to establish mass transit plans through voter referendums. Transit Drives Indy is organizing support for the measure and working to educate residents on the merits of the plan. The local chamber of commerce strongly supports the measure and is also advocating for its passage.
Broward County, FL: After a good deal of negotiation and debate, Broward County officials managed to find a compromise with its cities and agreed to send two half-cent sales taxes to voters this November. The full penny would be collected for 30 years and is estimated to generate a total of $12.6 billion. One half-cent measure is slated to go to cities for infrastructure projects while the other half-cent will go to the county for transportation projects, including light rail expansion. While each half-cent sales tax is a separate question on the ballot, voters must approve both for them to pass—if one passes and the other fails, neither takes effect. This measure would be instrumental in better connecting the Ft. Lauderdale area. Move Broward Forward is actively engaging Broward County residents and urging them to support both half-cent increases to improve transportation options in the region.
These initiatives represent just a handful of the dozens of transit measures going before voters on November 8th. To learn more about all the different measures on the ballot in 2016, be sure to check out our website. You can also read more about some of the biggest measures in our recent campaign profiles. And finally, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook in the coming weeks to stay up-to-date on the latest news in the realm of transit elections.
See the “Upcoming Events” section below for information on a post-Election webinar that will detail all the transit election results.
Excited About the Upcoming Elections? Join Our Conversation!
2016 is a record-breaking year when it comes to the number of transportation-related ballot measures going before voters across the country. This November, people in communities nationwide will have the opportunity to use their vote to show their support for better transit, walking, and biking infrastructure. If you support these efforts, we want to hear from you!
This month, CFTE is partnering with America Walks, the American Planning Association, and the Vision Zero Network to highlight the important role transit and walkability play in creating strong, vibrant communities. This is your opportunity to join our conversation online and support local transportation investment at the ballot box. Here are some ways you can get involved:
- If you are supporting a transit ballot measure in your community this November, tell us why on Facebook and Twitter.
- Even if your community doesn’t have a transportation measure on the ballot this year, tell us why you support investments in a better transportation network in your community.
- If you live in a community with a transit measure on the ballot on November 8th, attend a campaign event, take a picture, and post it on social media telling us why you plan to vote for transit.
- Get out and walk in your community and take note of places where transit, biking, or pedestrian infrastructure could be improved. Take a picture and post it on Twitter or Facebook!
Important tips for your posts!
- Use #Vote4Transit and #Walk4MyTown to in all posts about your support of smart local transportation investments!
- Don’t forget to tag @CFTEnews and @AmericaWalks in your tweets (@CenterForTransportationExcellence and @AmericaWalks on Facebook) so we can see the great work you’re doing!
- Take advantage of thetransit election-themed graphics created by Voices for Public Transit. Include them in your posts when you can!
On November 8th, voters have the chance to decide on over $175 billion in local transit investment at the ballot box. Let’s make sure these measures pass so we can make our communities stronger with thriving, diverse transportation networks!
October 9-12, 2016
San Francisco, CA
CFTE is thrilled to be participating in the 2017 Rail~Volution conference next week. If you’re planning to attend, be sure to stop by these events to learn more about this year’s ballot initiatives, as well as overall trends in voter support for transit at the ballot box. Hope to see you there!
Monday, October 10
Transit Funding: Winning Support at the Local Level
Tuesday, October 11
Post-Election Webinar: 2016 Transit Election Trends
November 15, 2016
2016 is a historic year for transit elections, both in terms of the number of measures on the ballot nationwide and the level financial of investment voters will consider at the polls. Join us on this webinar to learn how transit ballot measures fared on the November ballot and discuss trends in campaigning and advocating for transit at the local level.
Mark your Calendars! 2017 Transit Initiatives and Communities Conference is Coming to Seattle, WA
CFTE is thrilled to announce that the Transit Initiatives and Communities Conference will be traveling to Seattle, WA in 2017! The TIC Conference is the only national conference exclusively devoted to understanding transportation ballot measures and providing concrete advice on how to win. Join us in Seattle to learn what makes a successful campaign. Come hear first-hand stories and strategies from campaigns across the country.
When: May 21-23, 2017
Where: Renaissance Seattle Hotel
515 Madison St.
Seattle, WA 98104