This November, Four Major Transportation Measures at Stake

If you live in Detroit, Atlanta, Seattle, or Los Angeles, you have more to look forward to in November than choosing Donald or Hillary. Major decisions concerning regional transportation are on the line.

2 minute read

August 31, 2016, 9:00 AM PDT

By Philip Rojc @PhilipRojc


Peeradach Rattanakoses / Shutterstock

Voters in all four cities will decide on whether to increase taxes to fund major transportation projects, with a focus on transit. Daniel C. Vock writes, "But even though local transportation measures generally fare well at the ballot box, each of these particular metropolitan areas has had a tricky history with transit." See the article for more detail on each city's measures, summarized below. 

  • Detroit: "Voters in four Detroit-area counties will vote on whether to increase their property taxes by an average of $95 a year to vastly improve transit in the region." Plans include commuter rail between Detroit and Ann Arbor, new BRT, and integration between regional transit providers. 
  • Atlanta: "In another transit-starved area, Atlanta voters will decide whether to increase their sales taxes by 0.5 percent over 40 years to get better bus service, expanded rail routes and better incorporation of technology." Possible projects include circulator buses and new MARTA subway stations. 
  • Seattle: "Seattle's Sound Transit agency wants to double the size of its light rail network and expand its ability to reach the far-flung areas of Puget Sound. It's asking voters to approve $54 billion in new funding over 25 years." 
  • Los Angeles: "Transportation planners in Los Angeles County want to build on previous wins at the ballot box. They'll ask voters in November to make permanent a previous sales tax hike for transportation, plus add another half-cent sales tax hike to pay for both highway improvements and new transit projects. The tax increases would raise the cumulative sales tax in L.A. County to 9.5 percent."

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