Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Big Transit Plans Go Before Voters in November

Light rail in Seattle. Image credit: Flickr

2016 is a big year for transit - four of the country's largest cities are putting new tax levies on the ballot to expand transit. Putting the measures on the ballot is a risk, but transit agencies hope to take advantage of the 2016 presidential election turnout. The taxes are mixed, between property and sales taxes, but will greatly increase the funding available for transit projects.

Detroit - $4.6 Billion, 20-year property tax would provide funding for a commuter rail line between Detroit and Ann Arbor, four new bus rapid transit routes, additional cross-county bus routes, and additional local bus service. The plan would also meld the four existing transit providers with a shared fare card and a common call center.

Atlanta - $2.4 Billion, 40-year sales tax would provide funding for additional bus service, expanded rail routes, and better technology. Atlanta City council put an additional sales tax on the ballot to improve bicycle and pedestrian facilities in the city.

Seattle - $54 billion, 25-year property, sales, and car-tab tax would provide funding for doubling the light rail network, new commuter rail and bus rapid transit.

Los Angeles - $860 million per year sales tax would provide funding for both highway improvements and new transit projects.

For more information, read the article on Governing.

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