Monday, September 29, 2008

LA's $40 Billion Question

Late last week Gov. Schwarzenegger signed legislation to allow LA County voters to consider a half cent sales tax increase for public transportation. Estimates suggest that the 30-year levy would provide $40 billion for transit, including the 'Subway to the Sea' project. Voters will get their say on November 4. This summer the local MTA approved an increase for public transportation but that increase would have expired after six years. State legislation was needed to put the 30-year plan on the ballot. By approving the measure, L.A. voters can put the county at the forefront of local investment in public transportation.

Friday, September 26, 2008

California Slashes Transit Funding

On Tuesday, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger used his line-item veto power to cut an additional $100 million from state transit programs before signing the state budget.
This is in addition to the transit funding that was already cut by California lawmakers to help close the budget deficit. Overall, transit took a $663 million cut this year.
In recent years, cutting transit funding seems to be the annual mechanism for balancing the state budget. In the 2006-2007 budget the Governor and legislature redirected $1.259 billion in dedicated transit funds to non-public transit purposes. The 2007- 2008 budget also included a new statute that would automatically redirect half of all future Spillover revenue to the General Fund.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Welcome Aboard!

Thanks for visiting us here at Modal Citizen, CFTE's brand-new outpost in the blogosphere. The Center for Transportation Excellence monitors developments in transportation ballot initiatives and trends in state and local transportation finance and works to assist communities and advocates for more choice and better performance in our transportation system. We aim to use this space to keep you updated on transportation elections, new research, the latest transit news, what's happening with the critics (and how to beat them), and, well, anything that's vital to making the world safe for good transportation policy. This is also your invitation to join us. Tell us what's happening in your area, share ideas and tips, complain, or just speak your mind.

There's 41 days left 'til Election Day. We'll be watching and chatting about all the transportation races. Hope you'll hop on board for the ride.