Yesterday, a British publication described the election of the first African-American president as another "small step for man, giant leap for mankind". Americans also took a giant leap in the direction of improving transportation choices. Voters across the country signaled their support for transportation-related investment by approving more than $75 billion in new funding for transit. In 16 states, from Rhode Island to Hawaii, voters approved more than 70% of transportation measures. The continued success of transportation ballot measures is especially noteworthy this year considering the on-going economic challenges facing the nation.
There were 32 such measures on the ballot and 23 of them were decided in favor of public transportation,with one measure still undecided. The three largest measures, $40 billion for transportation projects in Los Angeles, $17.8 billion for commuter rail and buses in Seattle and a $9.9 billion bond to begin a high-speed rail line from San Francisco to Los Angeles were all approved by voters. This year has been among the most successful election cycles ever in terms of overall investment and percentage of approved measures.
A complete list of 2008 ballot initiatives is available at http://www.cfte.org.