News & Media
Vol. 5, No.7October 30, 2007
In This Issue …
- November 2007 Election Preview
- Study Confirms Transit As Vital Tool in Combating Global Warming
- National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates Gears Up Services
November 2007 Election Preview
OVER $20 BILLION IN NEW TRANSPORTATION FUNDING ON THE BALLOT
With the November elections a little less than a week away, transit campaigns are in full swing. CFTE is following the progress of six transit related ballot measures in regions across the country. Below is a quick preview of what is on the ballot on Nov. 6th.
Davis, Weber & Box Elder Counties, UT- Support Improved Mobility and Less Congestion-
Voters in three Northern Utah counties will be asked to approve a sales tax increase to support the development of transportation infrastructure. The tax increase, if approved, would raise as much as $12 million in Davis County during its first year of authorization, $8.7 million in Weber County, and $800,000 in Box Elder County. The money would go to a mix of about 35 road and transit projects in Weber and Davis, and in Box Elder, it would fund expansion of commuter rail.
Campaign Website: http://www.nutahtrans.com/mission.html
Greeley, CO – 2B YES FOR THE BUS!
Greeley, CO ballot question 2B asks residents to raise the sales tax by .25 of a percent to pay for improvements to the city's bus system. Members of the city's transit services asked Greeley City Council to place the tax proposal on the ballot because city staff is concerned that Greeley will lose federal funding for bus operating costs when the U.S. Census compiles the next census in 2010.
Campaign Website: http://www.goride.info/Home_Page.html
King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties, WA – Yes on Roads and Transit
Voters in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties will be asked to approve Proposition 1, the ballot measure also known as "Roads & Transit," calls for a boost in sales and car-tab taxes to build 50 miles of new tracks to Lynnwood, Overlake and Tacoma by 2027, along with 186 miles of road lanes and partial funding for a new Highway 520 floating bridge.
Campaign Website: http://yesonroadsandtransit.org/
Mecklenburg, NC - VOTE AGAINST THE REPEAL OF THE TRANSIT TAX and Keep Mecklenburg Moving!
This citizens of Mecklenburg County will be asked to decide if they want to repeal the a special sales tax that funds mass transit. This half cent sales tax which generates about $70 million was first approved 1998 by 58 percent of the Charlotte area voters. However, there is a growing group of citizen's that are frustrated with the delays and cost overruns associated with the first phase of the light rail project. These transit tax opponents have gathered nearly 49,000 signatures on petitions calling for a referendum to repeal the tax, which qualifies the measure for the November ballot.
Campaign Website: http://voteagainstrepeal.com/index.html
San Francisco, CA – Yes on Prop A
The Board of Supervisors put a measure on the ballot that supporters say would help fix Muni, the troubled but popular system with almost 700,000 riders a day. A separate measure, which qualified through the signature-gathering process, would increase the city's parking. But voters can't have it both ways. Even if both measures receive a majority of the vote, only one can take effect.
Campaign Website: http://www.fixmuni.com/prop_a.html
Toledo, OH - Vote For Issue 13
The 1.5-mill property tax that TARTA will have on the Election Day ballot in Toledo, Perrysburg, Rossford, Maumee, Waterville, Sylvania, Sylvania Township, Spencer Township, and Ottawa Hills will replace a 10-year levy at the same rate that expires at year's end.
Campaign Website: http://citizensfortarta.com/
For a complete list of 2007 Transportation Ballot Initiatives
Study Confirms Transit As Vital Tool in Combating Global Warming
TRANSIT CAN CUT HOUSEHOLD CARBON EMISSIONS BY NEARLY ONE-THIRD
An independent scientific study supported by the American Public Transportation Association has identified transit use as a major component of the nation’s climate change strategy. The study, conducted by SAIC, examined the impact of transit use on carbon dioxide emissions and global warming. Not only were the impacts of transit significant, the report’s authors noted that transit use dwarfed other popular household emission reduction strategies. The findings were striking:
A commuter switching to existing public transportation can reduce their CO2 emissions by 20 pounds per day of use or more than 4,800 pounds in a year, an amount equal to ten percent of an average family’s carbon footprint.
Switching your commute to public transportation reduces a family’s carbon footprint more than replacing five incandescent bulbs to lower wattage compact fluorescent lamps (445 pounds of CO2 per year), weatherizing your home, or replacing an applicances with energy efficient models.
An average household with two-cars can reduce carbon emissions by 30% by switching one car’s commute to public transportation or other modes of travel. A two-car household switching all travel to transit can reduce their carbon footprint by up to 55%.
Public transportation is already a major net reducer of GHG emissions saving nearly 7 metric tones per year
Mobile transportation sources represent one-third of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The study, Public Transportation’s Contribution to Greenhouse Gas Reduction, makes plain that expanding transit options in the nation’s communities is a cornerstone to any effective plan for combating climate change.
“Today’s report underscores the importance of increasing transportation choice,” said CFTE program director Jason Jordan. “It validates the support voters from coast-to-coast have shown for ballot measures providing local funding for public transportation.”
A recent CFTE study found that since 2000 more than 70 percent of transportation investment ballot measures have been approved by voters yielding $200+ billion in funding.
The new study should bolster support among those concerned about the potentially devastating impacts of global warming for increased transit investment and use. Transit use has been steadily increasing in recent years with current ridership at its highest in a generation.
The SAIC report points out the critical role today’s transit systems play in combating global warming and it is clear from the data that any real solution to climate change will involve transit. “Encouraging use and expanding public transportation should be a part of our national strategy to address global climate change,” said James L. Oberstar, U.S. Congress (D-MN), chairman, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “The report provides further evidence that public transportation is one of the most important tools to minimize carbon output, help the environment and assist the nation in achieving a sustainable transportation system.”
To view the full report.
Join the National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates
SIGN UP FOR A FREE MEMBERSHIP & PROVIDE FEEDBACK TODAY
The National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates (NAPTA) is a national organization representing local transit coalitions who support increasing federal investment in public transportation.
After some terrific success supporting additional transit funding in the last Transportation Reauthorization legislation, the NAPTA has taken a lower profile in recent years – until now!
Earlier this month, NAPTA announced that it will be resuming a more proactive role in the Public Transportation advocacy arena starting with several important events at Rail~Volution, 2007, including a NAPTA luncheon at 12:15pm on Saturday November 3rd and NAPTA activities at the tradeshow reception on Thursday, November 1st. .
As NAPTA prepares for these events, they are requesting feedback to ensure that they are providing services that are beneficial to advocates. Please take a few minutes to respond to the online survey at: http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?p=WEB226XE48TPUV. If you want to have a say in how NAPTA tools and strategies are developed, here’s your chance! This is your opportunity to daydream about what services would make your life as a transit advocate easier.
To sign up for a free membership