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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends
APTA: Public transit won at the polls
Six of nine public transportation-related ballot measures offered during Tuesday's elections passed, with one measure still undecided, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced yesterday.
The results follow a "long track record of success" for supporting transit at the ballot box. Over the past two decades, public transportation measures have won more than 70 percent of the time, APTA officials said in a press release.
"Voters said ‘yes’ to measures that will expand and improve public transit, spur economic development and job creation, and connect communities and the people who live in them," said APTA President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Skoutelas. "These ballots once again underscore the importance of local, state and federal partnerships in transportation investment."
At least two of the measures that passed included funding for rail. In the Houston area, voters approved a $3.5 billion bond issue to support the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County's (METRO) plan to fund new transit projects, including a proposed 16-mile extension of light-rail service from downtown Houston to the William P. Hobby Airport.
Preliminary results of the METRO ballot measure revealed 76 percent voted to pass the ballot measure and 24 percent voted against it, according to APTA.
In Maine, voters this week "overwhelmingly" approved a a $105 million bond measure to benefit transportation, with a portion of the funds dedicated to public transit, ports, harbors, airports, railroads, and bicycle and pedestrian trails, APTA officials said.
Overall in 2019, 12 of 16 public transportation ballot measures were approved, with one still undecided. Three more measures will be considered by voters before Dec. 31, 2019.
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.