Washington, D.C. — The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) reports that Nov. 8 will be an important election day for millions of public transportation riders and the communities they live and work in.  Thirty-one communities, counties, and states are asking voters to pass public transit ballot measures that will help to create a future with better transportation options.  If passed, ballot initiatives will allow communities to expand and increase service and to address infrastructure needs. 

“Communities of all sizes are asking citizens to vote for initiatives that will determine their future,” said APTA Chair and Foothill Transit Executive Director Doran J. Barnes.  “These initiatives and referenda are critical to expanding mobility options and to increasing the economic vitality of their communities.”

Some of the areas where ballot initiatives are up for a vote include:  Los Angeles ($120 billion); Seattle ($54 billion); San Diego ($7.5 billion); San Francisco ($3.5 billion); Santa Clara County, Calif. ($3 billion); Atlanta ($2.5 billion); and Columbus, Ohio ($620 million).  APTA estimates that on a national level these public transit ballot initiatives will total nearly $200 billion.

Download a list of the public transit ballot initiatives at www.apta.com/mediacenter/pressreleases/2016/Documents/Locations%20of%20Ballot%20Measures.pdf.   

“With more than 30 local referendums on public transportation on the ballot on November 8, voters across the country will have the opportunity to make a big difference in their communities,” said APTA Acting President and CEO Richard A. White. “With approximately $200 billion in funding for public transportation, this is a game changer for people and the communities they live in.” 

“If a local public transit measure is on the ballot in your community, it is vitally important that you come out to vote for it,” said White. “When people vote to improve or expand the local public transit system, they are voting for an improved quality of life and for the economic vitality of their region.”

Public transportation offers people access to jobs as nearly 60 percent of the trips taken on public transit are for work commutes.  At the same time, people are able to save money.  APTA’s latest Transit Savings Report says that on the average nationally, a person who switches his or her daily commute from driving a car to taking public transit can save more than $9,600.

Public transit also contributes to economic prosperity in a community as every one dollar invested in public transportation generates approximately $4 in economic returns.  Public transportation also helps to reduce traffic congestion and improves air quality.  Additionally, a new study just released by APTA shows public transit can make your community safer since it dramatically reduces auto crash risk. 

White notes that since 2000, public transit ballot initiatives have passed by an average of more than 70 percent, showing how important public transportation is to people and to communities of all sizes.  Local and state funding are critical revenue streams for public transportation.  Governments at all levels – federal, state, and local – fund public transportation. 

“When people understand how a ballot initiative will improve their community’s transportation network, they overwhelmingly vote to support the suggested funding,” said White.