Voters across the country overwhelmingly voiced support at the ballot box for investing in more public transportation through several ballot measures in multiple states on Nov. 5.
Yesterday, six out of nine public transportation related ballot measures passed—an approval rate of 67%, with one measure still undecided. Overall in 2019, 12 of 16 public transportation ballot measures were approved, a win percentage of 75%. Three more measures are lined up for consideration before the year's end.
According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), 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% of the time.
“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," APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas said in a statement. "These ballots once again underscore the importance of local, state, and federal partnerships in transportation investment.”
Highlights from yesterday's results include:
- Harris County, Texas: Voters passed a $3.5 billion bond measure to support MetroNEXT plan and greatly expand public transit in the Houston metro area.
- Cincinnati, Ohio: Voters 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.
- Albuquerque, New Mexico: Voters approved two measures, a receipts tax and a bond measure, to increase local public transit funding.
- 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, Ohio: Voters approved a 0.25% sales tax for 10 years to support Laketran.