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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Decision 2004: Voters weigh transportation referendums

On Nov. 2, many voters weren’t only concerned with the presidential race: Some states’ and counties’ ballots included transportation referendums.

The following is a summary of voting results released by the Center for Transportation Excellence:

• Voters in three California counties approved a $980 million bond measure for earthquake safety improvements on Bay Area Rapid Transit’s system;

• San Bernadino County, Calif., voters approved spending $6 billion in local transportation funds during the next 30 years, $362 million of which would be used to extend MetroLink commuter-rail service to Redlands and the Gold Line to Montclair;

• Denver voters approved a four-tenth-cent sales tax increase to fund the Regional Transportation District of Denver’s $4.7 billion FasTracks project. The agency plans to construct new light- or commuter-rail lines from Denver to Lakewood/Golden, Arvada, Boulder/Longmont, north Adams County and Denver International Airport, and along Interstate 225 in Aurora;

• Florida voters repealed a provision to develop a high-speed rail system;

• Austin, Texas, voters gave the thumbs up to Capital Metro to operate diesel-powered commuter-rail cars between Leander and downtown Austin along existing tracks the agency already owns;

• Arlington County, Va., voters approved a proposal to issue $18.5 million in bonds to help fund facility construction and rehabilitation for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) facilities;

• Fairfax County, Va., voters approved issuing $165 million worth of bonds to help WMATA renew infrastructure, improve system access and construct expansions; and

• Seattle voters defeated a proposal to eliminate the I-83 Seattle Monorail project.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/4/2004