State and Local Elections Demonstrate Wide Support for Public Transit

In 2019, voters around the country made one point perfectly clear: Our nation strongly supports public transportation.

Out of 20 local and state transit measures in 2019, 16 (80%) were victories for public transportation. Transportation measures passed inn locations from Maine to Anchorage, Alaska, to Harris County, Texas, and major cities in Oklahoma. In all, voters approved measures to provide more than $4.77 billion for public transportation.

In addition, in an important bellwether contest, voters in Phoenix overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure pushed by out-of-state dark money special interests that would’ve prohibited future funding for light rail. Voices for Public Transit helped get the word out and stop this proposal in its tracks.

Looking Back at Support for Public Transit

2019 elections were not an anomaly. In 2018, 31 out of 38 pro-transit ballot measures—or 81.6%—resulted in victory. In 2017, 16 out of 19 passed.

2016 was a milestone year, with 53 out of 78 measures chalking up victory for public transportation. In one transformational election, 72% of voters in Los Angeles County approved Measure M, which is forecast to raise $120 billion over 40 years for rail, bus rapid transit, and bike networks.

L.A. has some of the nation’s worst traffic, but communities of various sizes all across the country have voted to support public transportation. Place such as Greensboro, NC; Flagstaff, AZ; Marion County, IN; Charleston, SC; Summit County, UT; and dozens of other municipalities have all voted to fund public transit projects.

The Message to Congress Should be Clear
In election after election, voters in red and blue states alike have voted to increase funding for public transportation.

Voices for Public Transit can also support public transportation at the ballot box by voting for candidates who have made commitments to expand public transit—or have a strong record of supporting public transportation. Learn where candidates at all levels of government stand on public transit policies and funding—and then get out and vote!