Americans went to the polls on Tuesday and continued their strong support for public transportation at the local level, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). This year public transit initiatives prevailed at the ballot box by 71 percent, the association noted. This includes 15 out of a possible 25 local public transit related ballot initiatives passing on Election Day as tracked by the Center for Transportation Excellence (CFTE). That totals to over $6 billion of public transportation investment in local communities across America.
Public transit ballot initiatives garnered a passage rate of 60 percent on November 4. Yesterday’s totals culminate to 41 out of 58 pro-transit measures passing in 2014. Officials at APTA emphasized these totals are a part of a long term trend. Since the year 2000, more than 72 percent of public transit ballot measures have successfully passed.
“While American voters have become more discerning on what issues to support with their tax dollars, citizens continued to vote to overwhelmingly support public transportation ballot initiatives because it helps to grow their communities,” said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. “These votes serve as affirmation of the strong bi-partisan support that public transit initiatives enjoy throughout the country. Voters place great value in public transit and are willing to vote to tax themselves to invest in their communities.”
In Alameda, CA, 69.6 percent of voters approved increasing the sales tax to a full penny for public transit and other transportation related projects.
In the Atlanta region, 74 percent of Clayton County, GA voters supported becoming part of the MARTA public transit system.
Meanwhile, San Francisco, CA had two initiatives related to public transportation funding. Voters approved both by more than 70 percent margins.
In Monterey, CA, a sales tax was approved to support services for seniors, veterans, and handicapped persons by 72 percent.
In Seattle, WA, a car tab and sales tax that will all go towards public transit was approved by nearly 60 percent of the voters.
In Rhode Island, 60 percent of voters approved a public transit bond measure. For a complete list of 2014 transportation state and local ballot initiatives, go to the CFTE web site at www.cfte.org.
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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products. More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.