U.S. public transit agencies have been reacting to news and developments on the fly, as sudden declines in ridership, loss of revenue, waves of protest, and an uncertain long-term prognosis continues to disrupt day-to-day operations.
Republican state lawmakers repeated a tactic they successfully deployed last summer to prevent the passage of a bill that would have made Oregon the second state, after California, to place a price on carbon emissions from most economic sectors.
Two years after voters in the nine-county Bay Area agreed to hike tolls on the region's seven state-owned bridges, regional business leaders are hoping they will approve a one-cent regional sales tax to fund $100 billion in transportation projects.
The Oregon Climate Action Program, which would have priced carbon emissions by establishing a cap-and-trade program similar to the one in California, was defeated on Saturday, the penultimate day of the 2019 legislative session.
Transportation advocates have been patiently waiting since Nov. 6 for the results of a half-cent, 30-year county sales tax measure, 50 percent of which would benefit Samtrans bus and Caltrain needs and 5% bike/ped. It needs 66.67% of votes to pass.
A California taxpayers association has challenged the June passage of a regional ballot measure because it didn't receive two-thirds support from voters, although two prior voter-approved bridge toll increases also fell short of a super-majority.
California legislators have it easy compared to their counterparts in Oklahoma and Arkansas who seek to increase revenue through tax increases. A bill to hike gasoline and cigarette taxes and revise alcohol taxes faces a high hurdle.
The California Legislature approved bills to allow voters to decide on hiking sales taxes and tolls for regional transportation. Gov. Jerry Brown already signed a bill to allow San Mateo County voters to hike sales taxes for transportation.
The California legislature ended its season on Friday, handing Gov. Jerry Brown a third major victory. After passing landmark legislation earlier in transportation and climate change, a slate of controversial housing bills await his signature.
To secure needed votes to pass a vital cap-and-trade bill, Brown made a deal with California's Republican lawmakers that could cost him his legacy infrastructure project—the high-speed train from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
Caling the upcoming vote on AB 398, which has created strange political bedfellows, "the most important vote of your life," Gov. Jerry Brown cast the decision as choosing between "massive new regulations" and market-based mechanisms.
After Gov. Kate Brown signs the comprehensive funding package, Oregon will be the eighth state this year to approve legislation to increase its gas tax and the first ever to add a bike tax to fund bike and pedestrian infrastructure.
The oldest commuter rail line west of the Mississippi is also unique in another way—it lacks a dedicated source of operating revenue. Legislation has been introduced to allow Peninsula counties to vote to increase sales taxes by 0.125 percent.
There's a reason it can take decades to increase gas taxes — and many California legislators may soon found out why in November 2018, if not earlier. On November 1 of this year, state gas taxes will increase 12 cents per gallon.
While California cap-and-trade survived a legal challenge last month, a haze still surrounds the program. Carbon permit sales are low, and the program's longevity is threatened after 2020. A new bill was introduced to transform the program.
On April 6, the Senate and Assembly passed a comprehensive transportation funding package that it had been unable to do for years, thanks to much deal-making by Gov. Jerry Brown. The gas tax will increase by 12 cents per gallon on November 1.