November 9, 2018
Voters Say "Yes" to Investment in Public Transportation

Public transportation was a winner in the Nov. 6 elections, with voters across the country approving ballot measures that increased or secured investment in improving and expanding public transportation. Voters passed 17 of 20 transportation-related ballot measures—an approval rate of 85 percent—with two measures as yet unconfirmed (in San Mateo, CA, and Flagstaff, AZ). Over the past two decades, public transportation measures have won more than 70 percent of the time. "The voters have spoken and put their vote, and hard-earned tax dollars, where they know it's needed, by investing in public transportation," said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas.

Highlights include:

  • Proposition 6 in California was defeated, preserving more than $5 billion a year in dedicated transportation funding.
  • Voters in Hillsborough County, FL, approved critical investments in public transportation and transportation infrastructure. For Referendum Number 2 in Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa, voters approved a one percent increase in the sales tax that expires in 30 years. Forty-five percent of the revenue generated is earmarked for Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority.
  • In Broward County, FL, voters approved a one percent increase expected to generate $300 million annually for transportation upgrades, including the possibility of electric buses and light rail.
  • Arlington County, VA, voters approved a bond to invest more than $75 million in Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority capital improvements.
  • Voters in Maine voted "yes" on Question 3, a ballot measure calling for $106 million in bonds for transportation infrastructure, including new investments in public transportation.

View a table of results of public transportation-related ballot measures here.

» The Toronto Transit Commission seeks a chief of infrastructure and engineering. [More]
» Minnesota DOT is looking for a transit and active transportation director. [More]
» The National Transit Institute requests proposals for development of an FTA Real Estate Requirements Course. [More]
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Public Transit Salutes Veterans

APTA salutes all veterans this weekend and offers a special thank you for their service to our nation. In observance of Veteran's Day, many public transit agencies are honoring veterans and active-duty military by offering them free rides on Nov. 11 and 12. Here are just a few examples: Omnitrans, San Bernardino, CA; the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas; the Denton County Transportation Authority, Lewisville, TX; the Rockford (IL) Mass Transit District. METRO Regional Transit Authority, Akron, OH, is providing free rides to all passengers on Nov. 11. In addition to providing free rides for veterans, TransLink in Vancouver, BC, is honoring the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War on Nov. 11 with commemorative farecards in honor of all Canadian veterans. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is releasing a limited-edition Heroes SmarTrip card to recognize veterans.

FTA's TrAMS Re-opens for Financial Activity

FTA has re-opened its Transit Award Management System (TrAMS) following a temporary closure that occurs at the end of each fiscal year. FTA is now processing application reviews, awarding grants and cooperative agreements and reviewing / approving budget revisions, amendments, de-obligations and closeouts. Grant applicants can now continue to develop applications, including adding activity line items and initiating post-award actions including closeout amendments. Tasks that were pending at time of closure will be reissued and available for action.

Seeking Donations for Victims of Hurricane Michael

The Florida Public Transportation Association (FPTA) is seeking donations from the public transportation community to assist with recovery from Hurricane Michael. Many of the Panhandle's affected transit systems are small, rural and in need of support. FPTA is accepting gift cards, checks or donations via credit card. Read more and donate here.


Last Day for APTA Industry Leadership Summit Early Registration!

Today (Nov. 9) is the last day to take advantage of the early registration discount for APTA's Industry Leadership Summit! The summit is the cornerstone of APTA's Industry Leadership Week, Nov. 27-29, in Washington, D.C., a series of events that will bring together public transportation and associated leaders to discuss and address the issues and trends transforming public transit and the community. The summit also will delve into the recent federal and state election results and what they mean for public transportation.

Post-election sessions include:

  • Lessons Learned from California's Massive SB 1 (Proposition 6) Measure. California's Senate Bill 1, which passed in April 2017, allocated a historic $54 billion investment over 10 years for transportation infrastructure. Experts will provide insights and lessons learned.
  • Keynote Address: A Political Insider's Look at the Mid-Term Elections, featuring Stuart Rothenberg, Ph.D., Political Analyst & Speaker; Senior Editor, Inside Elections.

Read more and register here.


A Wake-up Call for Investment in America's Transportation Infrastructure—Investing to restore the nation's public transit systems to a state of good repair would create 162,000 new jobs and generate more than $180 billion in economic activity over a six-year period, says APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas in The Seattle Times.

Boy in Homemade MTA Bus, Most Heartwarming Halloween Costume in NYC—Harry, the "ultimate MTA fanboy" is a 6-year-old who uses a wheelchair and loves the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority so much his mother built him an M96 Crosstown Bus of his own.

MATA Bus Routes Saved, other Cuts Averted—An infusion of $2.5 million in extra funding from the city of Memphis saved six routes that were planned for elimination, before the Memphis Area Transit Authority board voted on a final slate of service changes that will take effect Dec. 9.

Looking for Homeless Rider Solution as Winter Approaches—Metro Transit's (Minneapolis, MN) Homeless Action Team reaches out to passengers using light rail as a shelter to guard against crimes and help those passengers get any services they need.

'They’re Bold and Fresh': The Millennials Disrupting Boston's Transit System—Armed with data and outside-the-box ideas, TransitMatters is redefining citizen engagement.

Los Angeles Mayor Hails Public Transit Vote on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!'—Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti hailed Hillsborough County voters' approval of a sales tax hike for public transportation as the Election Day outcome that most excited him.

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