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11/4/2010



Rail News: Passenger Rail

For the most part, voters vote 'yes' on transportation


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On Nov. 2, voters approved 22 of 30 transportation ballot measures across the country, according to the Center for Transportation Excellence (CFTE).

In California, voters approved Proposition 22, a constitutional amendment to close loopholes that enable state leaders to fill budget gaps with money designated for transportation purposes.

San Francisco and San Mateo County voters also approved raising vehicle registration fees by $10 and using a portion of the proceeds to improve transit reliability and operations.

In Oahu, Hawaii, residents voted in favor of creating a public transit authority to oversee the construction and operation of the city’s $5.5 billion rail transit project.

Two Virginia counties — Arlington and Fairfax — approved $34.1 million and $120 million bond measures, respectively, to support the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s capital improvement program. The agency’s six-year capital plan includes purchasing new rail cars; maintaining and rehabilitating track, vehicles and facilities; and improving safety by upgrading the signal system, purchasing equipment to improve track worker protection, and adding new safety features to existing rail cars and buses.

Voters in Clayton County, Ga., passed a non-binding referendum to join the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, while voters in Tenafly, N.J., voted against a non-binding referendum asking if New Jersey Transit should re-establish service to the borough.

Meanwhile, voters in Hillsborough County, Fla., voted against implementing a one-cent sales tax that would have funded a variety of transit projects, including a 45-mile light-rail system in the Tampa area.

CFTE is a non-partisan research group based in Washington, D.C.


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