President Barack Obama may have been the big winner of the 2012 US Presidential Election, but according to the American Public Transport Association (APTA), transit was also a big winner. Nearly 70% of pro-transit measures were voted through.
13 of 19 local public transit–related ballot initiatives were approved during voting on Tuesday, which means that, in 2012, 46 out of 58 pro-transit measures have passed, reflecting a long-term trend since the year 2000.
“Despite concerns about the economy, voters throughout the country at a rate of nearly 70 percent voted on November 6 to pass pro-public transportation ballot initiatives,” said American Public Transportation Association (APTA) President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. “This successful trend of passing transit measures demonstrates that public transportation is a vital and essential service that people want and need. Even with economic concerns still on everyone’s minds, voters decided to pass taxes, create bonding, or take other actions to improve or maintain public transportation.”
Notably, the top issue on voters’ minds is actually jobs, and transit creates jobs like nothing else:
Orange County saw a half-cent sales tax for local and regional transit following a successful half-cent sales tax measure for improved public transportation in Durham County last year. Arlington County in Virginia voted to pass a nearly $32 million bond that will support a number of public transit projects, including capital projects for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
Several votes to eliminate transit altogether were voted down across the country and several ballots fell marginally short of the necessary two-thirds to pass.
For a complete list of 2012 transportation state and local ballot initiatives, go to the CFTE web site at www.cfte.org.