T4America Blog

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Last week’s elections a net plus for public transportation

Last Tuesday’s election results were a win for public transit, although high-profile state and national races stole most of the headlines. According to the Center for Transportation Excellence, 72 percent of transportation ballot measures received voter approval on November 3.

November’s ballot included seven measures in five states – Colorado, Indiana, Maine, Michigan and Ohio. Voters ultimately approved $74 million for transportation and rejected measures to delay transit projects, most notably a measure in Cincinnati aimed at blocking a planned streetcar line. The pro-transit incumbent in Cincinnati, Mayor Mark Mallory, was re-elected and voters in Charlotte, North Carolina elected transit advocate Anthony Foxx over an opponent who has been less supportive of transportation choices.

Two states – Maine and Washington – rejected initiatives known as TABOR measures. If passed, these would have imposed harsh spending limits on state governments, potentially forcing deep cuts to public transportation.

Starting tomorrow, the Center for Transportation Excellence is launching a free, six-part webinar series aimed at helping transportation organizations and advocates get measures on the ballot and win. The first part, scheduled for Friday, November 13 is themed “Election Trends: Learning from the Past and Looking to the Future.” Future webinars include “Building a Winning Coalition,” “Making Your Message Better” and “Silencing the Naysayers.”

CFTE maintains comprehensive records of transit politics throughout the country. Their website, http://www.cfte.org is a terrific resource.