Government Issues

Nearly 90% of public transit ballot initiatives pass in 2017

Posted on November 13, 2017

Nearly 90% of public transportation initiatives were approved by voters from coast to coast across the U.S. this year. In the November 7th election, seven of eight initiatives passed with one result still to be determined. Throughout the country this year, voters in 17 states and communities of all sizes voted for increased investment in public transportation, bringing the success rate to nearly 90% (87.5%), according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

"Americans voted with their wallets by taxing themselves to support increased funding for public transportation," said APTA Acting President/CEO Richard A. White. "Voters clearly see the value as public transit connects customers to businesses, and employees to jobs. The voters have spoken loud and clear through the ballot box that funding public transit provides their community a great return on investment."

The results of ballot initiatives in 2017 is a part of a long track record of success. In both up and down economic years, voters have continually shown a strong interest in providing resources to create public transportation options in their communities.

Wins from the elections last week include:

  • Denver voters passed a transportation bond ($100 million for transit) with nearly 73% of the vote.
  • Athens-Clarke County, Ga. voters passed a new sales tax for transportation with nearly 74% of the vote.
  • Lawrence, Kan. voters passed a sales tax for operating a transit system with almost 70% of the vote.
  • Maine, statewide, voters approved a transportation bond with 72% of the vote.
  • Grand Rapids, Mich. voters passed a 12-year renewal of their millage with 61% of the vote.
  • Mahoning County, Ohio voters renewed the sales tax for their transit system with nearly 60% approving.
  • Philadelphia voters passed a capital projects bond that includes public transit.
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