Funding for public transportation can be intricate, and ballot measures, referenda, and other initiatives aimed at improving public transit often pass or fail by extremely slim margins.
There’s no shortage of local contests in the Midwest, especially in Indiana and Ohio:
- In Indianapolis and Marion County, voters will decide on a measure to provide $56 million in annual funding for IndyGo, the city’s popular bus service.
- In Ohio, voters in Franklin County (Columbus), Lorain County, and Stark County face major decisions on the future of transportation. Columbus’s Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) hopes voters will renew 0.25-percent sales tax for 10 years, which is estimated to generate about $62 million a year for the transit authority in the busy state capital area.
- In Illinois, voters will decide the fate of proposed Amendment HJR CA36 — the Transportation Taxes and Fees Lockbox Amendment — which will ensure that transportation-related fees and taxes are only used to support transportation projects, including public transit.
These referendums highlight the need for our continued support of public transportation issues, and more importantly — the need to get out and vote!
Public transit advocates and supporters can play an important role in helping to pass local public transportation ballot measures needed to meet the funding federal dollars don’t cover. You can help ensure public transit moves forward in your community by:
Even if such measures aren’t up for a vote in your community this election, remember that state and local elected representatives often have the power to get future issues on the ballot — so make sure you know what your candidates think about public transportation.