Election Day is Coming—Vote for Transit!
November 1, 2018
The media is fixated on what Tuesday, November 6 means for control of Congress, but election day is also one of the few chances citizens have to directly demand more investment in the transit and rail systems we all rely upon.
While there aren’t many rail-specific ballots on this year’s slate of midterm ballot initiatives, there are still some crucial measures facing passengers next week. We’ve done a survey of what’s out there and issued some recommendations for voters looking to support passenger rail.
And if you’re interested in supporting investments in roads and buses, more generally, we encourage you to check out the comprehensive resources pulled together by Eno Transportation.
Proposition 6: a statewide ballot measure that repeals gas tax increases and vehicle fees passed in 2017, while passing a constitutional amendment requiring voter approval for future fuel tax and vehicle fee increases in the future.
No one likes paying gas taxes. But everyone relies on transportation infrastructure. What to do?
California currently suffers from some of the worst road congestion in the country. These funds are needed for better maintained bridges and highways, and—critically—transit alternatives to roads. Cheap gas won’t be much help if everywhere you drive has bumper-to-bumper traffic.
RPA Recommends: Vote NO
Proposition 110: proposes amending the Colorado statutes to increase the state’s sales and use tax rate from 2.9 percent to 3.52 percent for 20 years;
The additional tax revenue collected under Proposition 110 is dedicated to the following uses:
- 45 percent to CDOT for state transportation projects, including debt repayment;
- 40 percent to local governments for transportation projects; and
- 15 percent for multimodal transportation projects, which includes bike paths, sidewalks, and public transit, such as buses, rail, and rides for the elderly and disabled.
While we might hope for a greater explicit commitment to rail transit projects in the proposition, a high degree of local control over funds would allow municipalities to place a greater emphasis on transit with their portion of the funding. Furthermore, the competing Proposition 109 includes nomoney for multimodal projects. Therefore, we support this boost to infrastructure in Colorado.
RPA Recommends: Vote YES
Amendment 11: a ballot measure to pass a constitutional amendment with three parts: deletes existing language allowing the Legislature to prevent non-citizens from buying, selling, owning or inheriting property; deletes a “Savings Clause” added in 1885 which acts as an obstacle to criminal-justice reform; and deletes language approving a high-speed rail system for the state.
Our organization supports the mandate to build high-speed rail in Florida. However, given Florida’s uniquesystem for putting multi-part amendments to the state constitution before voters—combined with the fact that the constitutional provision has failed to produce any positive results in building out a high-speed rail system—we will refrain from taking a stance on this amendment.
RPA Recommends: No Stance