While not all measures on the ballot were approved on November 4, 2014, it was a good year for transit and multimodal initiatives with 65% of measures approved. Here’s a highlight of transit proposals that were voted on yesterday.
- In Massachusetts, voters were deciding whether or not to repeal a provision to index the gas tax that allowed revenues to keep up with inflation and allowed the state to keep up with their transportation needs. This initiative was legislature approved, and the voters voted to repeal the index by a small 52.9-47% margin. This means that Massachusetts will lose a portion of their transportation funding, though they also have a 3 cent gas tax revenue source that was approved on an earlier measure.
- In Rhode Island, voters approved a statewide ballot measure that will improve transit across the state, including new bus and rail transit hubs as well as expanded bus service.
- Atlanta was another win for public transportation on election day. For the first time in more than 40 years, Atlanta’s MARTA system will be expanding into a new county. With 73% of voters in favor of a one-percent sales tax increase, Clayton County will now join MARTA. Clayton County used to run its own bus service, but it folded in 2010 and the county saw University enrollment drop and people struggle to get to jobs at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. The Atlanta region is now regionally invested in MARTA and advocates hope that the local support for this measure will draw the attention of the state legislature and possible state funding down the road.
- Pinellas County, Florida did not fare as well. Only 38% of residents voted in favor of their public transportation measure. Their referendum would have expanded their bus service, added bus rapid transit corridors, and lay the groundwork for light rail through the county. However, Transportation for America, the publishers of a blog on the measures, encourages Pinellas County to take heart because many places have lost their first and second runs before winning in the end.
And that’s the message CMT wants to leave with folks this and every election. Transit will win in the end, join our efforts to ensure that it does.
Blog source found on the worldwide web on November 6, 2014 at http://t4america.org/2014/11/05/important-transportation-ballot-measures-decided-yesterday/.