Public Transportation Scores Major Wins in Last Night’s Elections Across the Country

The results are in and voters across America overwhelmingly voiced their support for investing in more public transportation. In large and small communities across the country, voters once again showed that investing in public transit and investing in their local economies is critical to their communities.

Yesterday, 6 of 9 public transportation-related ballot measures passed — an approval rate of 67 percent, with one measure still undecided. Overall in 2019, 12 of 16 public transportation ballot measures were approved, a win percentage of 75 percent, with one still undecided. Three more measures will be considered by voters before year-end.

These results follow a long track record of success for public transportation at the ballot box. Historically over the past two decades, public transportation measures have won more than 70 percent of the time.

“The voters have spoken and pledged their vote where they know it’s needed, by investing in public transportation,” said American Public Transportation Association President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “Last night, voters said ‘yes’ to measures that will expand and improve public transit, spur economic development and job creation, and connect communities and the people who live in them. These ballots once again underscore the importance of local, state, and federal partnerships in transportation investment.”

Highlights from last night’s results include:

  • Harris County, TX voters strongly supported a $3.5 billion bond measure to support the MetroNEXT plan and greatly expand public transit in the Houston metro area. Preliminary results show 68% of voters supported the measure, versus 32% against.
  • Voters in Cincinnati, OH, approved a measure to conditionally repeal the county’s earnings tax for public transit if a countywide sales tax measure is passed to replace it this year. This is the first step for Hamilton County in revamping and increasing the county’s transit funding next year. Preliminary results revealed 76% voting “Yes” to 24% voting “No”.
  • In Albuquerque, NM, voters approved two measures, a receipts tax and a bond measure, to increase local public transit funding. Preliminary results show the receipts tax passing 65% to 35%, and the bond measure passing 58% to 42%.
  • In Maine, voters overwhelmingly approved a $105 million bond measure to benefit transportation, with a portion of the funds dedicated to public transit, ports, harbors, airports, railroads, and bicycle and pedestrian trails.
  • Lake County, OH voters approved a 0.25% sales tax for 10 years to support Laketran, by a count of 58% to 42%.

To see information on all of 2019’s transit-related ballot measures, click here.

Original APTA Release can be found here.