On Tuesday, voters approved 33 of 48 local and statewide public transit measures for a current passage rate of 71% based on unofficial election results. Three measures on November 8 ballots remain to be called.
Throughout the country in 2016, in 23 states and communities of all sizes, voters considered nearly $200 billion in local investment for public transportation at the ballot box. The number of ballot measures (49), as well as their collective total amount (nearly $200 billion), were the largest in history. Since 2000, the average success rate of transit measures is 71%.
Additionally, 77 total transit measures appeared on ballots throughout 2016, the highest number on record. This follows a growing trend in the number of measures annually, which indicates local communities are increasingly understanding the need for local investment in public transportation and recognizing that ballot initiatives can be a powerful way to meet that need, according to APTA.
One big win, included Los Angeles’ ambitious Measure M, which will renew the current half-cent sales tax to continue funding transportation projects throughout the region, as well as an additional half-cent sales tax to expand and improve light rail and subway lines. The measure could raise up to $120 billion over 40 years for transit and road improvements. Altogether, nine out of 16 California ballot measures were successful, with other measures finding success in Marion County, Ind.; Greensboro and Wake County, N.C.; and Seattle and Spokane, Wash.
For a full list of measures, click here.
"Americans from every background agree that more public transportation is great for their community. And with a passage rate of 69 percent, they show they are more than willing to pay for it," said American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Chair Doran J. Barnes.
"Voters nationwide upheld the demonstrated legacy of strong support for transit at the ballot box,” noted Jason Jordan, executive director of the Center for Transportation Excellence. “Clearly, communities continue to recognize the economic, social, health, and environmental benefits transit can provide and are willing to support and invest in its expansion and maintenance."