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APTA: Voters back transit in Nov. 8 ballot measures


On Tuesday, voters approved pro-transit ballot initiatives in Durham, N.C., and Vancouver, Wash., and defeated an anti-transit measure in Cincinnati, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

“Even though the economic downturn continues, Americans are showing at the ballot box that they are willing to invest in public transportation,” said APTA President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Melaniphy in a prepared statement. “This investment is critical as our population grows, and demand for public transit services increases.”

In Durham County, voters approved a half-cent sales tax that will bring commuter and light rail to the county and improve bus service. In Vancouver, voters passed a O.2 percent sales tax increase to support the Clark County Public Transportation Benefit Area Authority, which operates C-TRAN, APTA officials said.

And in Cincinnati, voters rejected an effort to prohibit the city from spending money on any rail project until 2020.

In addition, it appeared voters rejected a ballot measure that would have restricted use of highway tolls and would have kept light rail from crossing the I-90 floating bridge, according to a report in The Seattle Times. Votes still were being counted on Wednesday, the paper reported.

The election results bring the total so far in 2011 to 21 “victories” in 27 public transit elections, reflecting a long-term trend, APTA officials said. Since 2000, more than 73 percent of public transit ballot measures have passed.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/10/2011