WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 4, 2020) – In communities across the country, voters on Tuesday continued to voice their overwhelming support for public transit by approving 15 out of 18 measures supporting public transit. Last night’s results add to the 32 public transit measures already passed by voters this year, bringing this year’s total to 47 out of 52 wins for public transit, a 90% win rate.
Tuesday’s results add to a banner year for public transit at the ballot box. In the face of the huge changes and difficult challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, voters have risen to meet the moment. Last night’s results showed that voters understand that forward-thinking investments into our future are the only way to help our communities rebound from the prolonged pandemic.
”Voters throughout the country once again overwhelmingly said ‘yes’ to public transit ballot measures that will expand and improve public transit, spur economic development and job creation, and connect communities and the people who live in them,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “Even during this pandemic and economic downturn, voters have spoken and pledged their vote where they know it’s needed – public transportation investment. These ballots once again underscore the importance of local, state, and federal partnerships in transportation investment.”
“Voters showed last night that they’re willing to think big about our future. Americans voted to invest in transit and in their communities,” said Josh Cohen, Executive Director of APTA’s Center for Transportation Excellence. “The big measures this year were innovative and collaborative, and represent an approach to development that extends beyond mobility alone. The measures, and the campaigns themselves, talked to voters about equity, cleaner air and water, economic growth, and support for frontline and essential workers –a message and approach that was met with applause.”
The measures considered Tuesday represent over $38 billion in new funding. Some of last night’s biggest victories for public transit include:
- Prop A in Austin, Texas, which would provide huge investments in bus and rail to manage Austin’s urban growth while providing hundreds of millions of dollars for community-led anti-displacement measures;
- Prop A in San Antonio, Texas, which would allow VIA Metropolitan Transit to continue to operate at its best capacity during the pandemic;
- Measure RR in the Bay Area, CA, which would provide the first dedicated source of funding for Caltrain;
- Prop 1 in Seattle, WA, which would renew a tax that funds bus service and subsidized pass programs for students and other groups; and,
- The Mountain Line mill levy increase in Missoula, MT, which would, among other improvements, fund Missoula’s innovative Zero Fare program.
Unfortunately, the following measures fell short:
- Measure 26-218 in Portland, OR, which would fund a large slate of transportation, transit, and safety improvements throughout the region to address historically inequitable transportation planning;
- A measure in Newton County, GA, to institute a 1% TSPLOST sales tax that would benefit transit.
- The Gwinnett transit referendum in Gwinnett County, GA, which would bring a heavy rail extension, BRT, and expanded bus service to Gwinnett County.
APTA’s Center for Transportation Excellence tracks all of the measures at its website and through its Twitter account. Additionally, we created a quick and easy spreadsheet of the measures decided last night.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations which represent a $74 billion industry that directly employs 435,000 people and supports millions of private sector jobs. APTA members are engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products.