VOTER ALERT: Infrastructure Projects Coming to a Ballot Near You
September 28, 2016
While the presidential and congressional elections dominate the national headlines, state ballot measures across the U.S. are attempting to remedy the deficit in transportation investment created by federal inaction. On November 8, voters across the nation will consider more than $200 billion worth of transportation related ballot measures—and pollsters are saying, due to public frustration with the growing gap between investment needs and public funding, the majority of these ballots are well positioned to become law.
The need is certainly dire. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates there is a $3.6 trillion backlog in transportation infrastructure project needs, for both state-of-good-repair (SOGR) and expanded capacity. Transit alone faces an $86 billion shortfall in SOGR funding for upgrades to aging legacy systems.
The good news is that, not only are there a large number of transportation ballot measures, but a significant portion of them are targeted specifically at transit. And these transit-oriented ballot measures are ambitious in nature. Voters have been generally supportive of local transportation measures that clearly outline where taxpayer dollars go. Since 2009, 71 percent of transportation ballot measures have passed.
NARP is tracking ballot measures focused on infrastructure projects, and we will be periodically updating this page with all the latest information about transit-friendly ballot measures, Make sure to check back before voting on election day! [Last Updated: Nov. 4th]
- Atlanta, MARTA Expansion Ballot Measure: Voters will consider a ½ cent sales tax to raise $2.5 billion for the Atlanta BeltLine, 15 complete streets projects, Phase 2 of the Atlanta Bike Share program, pedestrian improvements in sidewalks; and traffic signal optimization.
- Contra Costa County, Measure X: Voters will consider a state of good repair initiative for roadways and improvement of critical roadway segments. It contains major funding for transit bus, ferry, bicycle and pedestrian improvements. It also contains funds to purchase additional BART cars.
- Detroit Metropolitan Area, Regional Transit Authority Public Transit Tax: $4.6 billion in southeastern Michigan for Detroit-to-Ann Arbor passenger rail, BRT along three major corridors, express bus services, a universal fare card and several, and other improvements.
- East Bay (Oakland, Berkeley), Measure C1: Voters will consider extending a parcel tax which provides funding for AC Transit, focused on bus transit, state of good repair and new buses.
- Humboldt County, Transportation Ballot Measure Expenditure Plan: Voters will look at a ½ cent transportation sales tax measure for the maintenance, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of existing transportation, including trails and transit.
- Los Angeles County, Measure M: Voters will consider a sales ½ cent sales tax to generate $120 billion over 40 years throughout Los Angeles County for rail, bus transit, highway projects, and SOGR work.
- Maine, General Fund Bond Issue To Improve Highways, Bridges and Multimodal Facilities: Voters will consider a $100 million bond issuance for construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways and bridges and for facilities, equipment and property acquisition related to ports, harbors, marine transportation, freight and passenger railroads, aviation, transit and bicycle and pedestrian trails, to be used to match an estimated $137,000,000 in federal and other funds.
- Merced County, Measure V: Voters will be asked to approve a ½ cent sales tax dedicated to transportation, projected to generate $450 million in new revenue over 30 years. Funding categories include regional projects (east and west side shares), local Projects and alternative modes projects, and transit.
- Rhode Island, Question 6: Voters will consider $35 million in infrastructure bonds to fund enhancements and renovations to mass transit hub infrastructure throughout the state, and to improve access to multiple intermodal sites, key transportation, healthcare, and other locations. This funding includes $10 million for bike paths, parks, recreation, open space, and storm water control.
- Sacramento, Measure B: Voters will consider a half-cent transportation sales tax to raise $3.6 billion over 30 years to repave streets, repair aging roads and bridges, and fund new highway, connector and interchange projects. Measure B would also provide funding for operations, maintenance, security and expansion of Light Rail and other transit services to increase options for transit users, take cars off the roads and improve air quality.
- San Diego, Measure A: Voters will consider approving $18 billion in new revenue, 42 percent of which will go to transit, and for building “and operating a new north/south Trolley line from San Ysidro to Kearny Mesa; adding more than a dozen new Rapid routes to provide fast and frequent transit service around the region; double-tracking at various locations on the North Coast rail corridor; replacing vehicles for COASTER, SPRINTER, Trolley, Rapid, and local bus routes; enhancing local bus, COASTER and SPRINTER, and Blue, Orange, and Green line Trolley services with increased frequencies and longer hours of operation; and specialized transportation projects and programs designed to address the needs of seniors, students, disabled, low-income, and veterans.”
- San Francisco, Proposition J: Voters will consider “directing additional funds to critical transit services and transportation improvements in every neighborhood, including safer, well-maintained streets, transit maintenance and expansion… and new BART and Muni cars.”
- San Francisco Bay Area, Measure RR: Voters will consider in the counties served by BART will consider a state of good repair initiative for the replacement of 40-year old life expired assets. However the car replacement portion, will expand BART’s car fleet increasing network capacity. The replacement train control and power system is designed to allow more closely spaced trains, allowing more hourly frequencies resulting in more capacity.
- San Luis Obispo County, Self Help SLO: Voters will be asked to approve a ½ percent sales tax, generating $25 million dollars per year to fix our roads and improve transit, including the development of a Transportation Investment Plan with a list of projects and programs.
- Santa Clara County, Measure B: Voters will consider a ½ cent sales tax increase that while funding highway state of good repair and improvements also includes major transit initiatives – extension of BART through downtown San Jose to the Caltrain station, grade separations on the Caltrain line in Santa Clara County and an increase in Caltrain service between Gilroy and San Jose. The first two initiatives would also aid California High Speed Rail with improved connections (BART) and improved route (grade separations).
- Seattle, Sound Transit Proposition 1: Voters will choose whether to approve taxes for $53.8 billion to fund 62 miles of new light rail, BRT on I-405, expanded capacity on the Sounder south rail line, improved access to stations for bicyclists, pedestrians, drivers, and pick-up and drop-off services, among other features.
- Silicon Valley, Measure B: Voters will consider a ½ cent, 30-year sales tax measure anticipated to generate between $6 billion and $6.5 billion in 2017 dollars. Measure B would provide, among other things, $1.5 billion for Phase II of the Bart extension between downtown, San Jose, and Santa Clara; and $314 million for improvements to Caltrain, including expanded capacity and level boarding.
- Ventura County, Measure AA: Voters will look at a ½ cent transportation sales tax to keep rail & bus available and affordable, repair local streets, and preserve quality of life.
- Wake County, Wake County Transit Plan: a one-half percent increase in the sales tax in Wake County for public transportation, including improved bus service and commuter rail line connecting Durham, Research Triangle Park, and Garner. [Thanks to user "hltart" for submitting.]
Of course, the best way for passenger advocates to support this movement is to educate themselves on their local ballot measures, speak with friends and family about the critical need to invest in this countries infrastructure, and volunteer with local ballot measures. NARP will be periodically updating this page with all the latest information about transit-friendly ballot measures, so check back between now and Nov. 8th!
"Saving the Pennsylvanian (New York-Pittsburgh train) was a local effort but it was tremendously useful to have a national organization [NARP] to call upon for information and support. It was the combination of the local and national groups that made this happen."
Michael Alexander, NARP Council Member
April 6, 2013, at the Harrisburg PA membership meeting of NARP