Last year’s passage of a long-term federal transportation funding bill — the FAST Act — was a critical step in getting America’s public transportation back on track.
But the fact is that federal funding provides only a percentage of the dollars needed for transportation, including public transit. Cities, counties, and states must also contribute funding and leadership for transportation. In addition, local spending is often required to receive matching federal grants.
For these reasons, it is critical for voters around the country to vote YES on local and state transportation measures. Below we highlight measures in several states.
- In Maine, a YES vote on Question 6 will raise $100 million in bond funding for local public transit services, as well as for road and bridge improvements. Passage of Question 6 will also qualify Maine to receive an estimated $137 million in matching federal funds.
- Southeast Michigan voters will vote on the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) measure that will extend bus and rail service throughout the area, strengthening connections and mobility for 4.2 million people. In addition, Eaton County voters will decide on renewing funding for their local transit system.
- In Flagstaff, Arizona, voters will decide on Prop 411, which will renew a modest local sales tax that funds the Mountain Line bus system.
These ballot measures highlight the need for our continued support of public transportation initiatives, and more importantly—the need to get out and vote! Keep in mind that local measures are often passed or defeated by very slim margins, so every vote is important.
In addition to voting yourself, you can help raise awareness about supporting public transit initiatives and encourage others to vote as well by utilizing the resources of Voices for Public Transit’s Election Toolkit.