Friday, October 23, 2009

Six Stops to Success: Putting your Transportation Message in Service

The Center for Transportation Excellence and the National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates presents a free, six-part webinar series that will provide advocates and transportation organizations with the necessary tools to take a transportation ballot measure from an idea to a success at the ballot box.

Registration is now open!

November 13, 2009
Election Trends: Learning from the Past and Looking to the Future

January 15, 2010
Getting Started on a Ballot Measure Campaign

February 19, 2010
Building a Winning Coalition

March 19, 2010
Making Your Message Matter

April 23, 2010
Social Media: Friending, Tweeting & Blogging Your Way to Success

May 14, 2010
Silencing the Naysayers

For more information and to register, please visit:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Island County Votes to Increase Sales Tax for Transit

Voters in Island County, WA approved a sales tax for transit by 55% to 45% on August 18. The three-tenths of 1 percent increase would boost the local transit sales tax to 0.9 percent to support Island Transit's bus system. The system, which operates fare-free, has recently been struggling due to declining tax revenues, despite consolidating routes and saving nearly $700,000. The threat of more route consolidation and cuts has been abated by the recent measure. Revenues in 2010 are expected to be about $6.6 million, with the increase generating about $2.2 million of that.

A tax increase was last approved by voters in 2000.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May Election-Mixed Results for Transportation Measures in Michigan

Election results for the first transportation ballot measures of the year are mixed. Two regions in Michigan took transportation funding issues to the ballot on May 5. The results are one solid win for public transportation and one very close loss.

Last November, a measure to increase the property tax millage in Kalamazoo County, MI failed at the ballot. In response, a two-tiered plan was designed to get Metro Transit the funding it needs. The first part of the plan was approve last week by 63% of voters! A 0.4-mill property tax levy was approved to pay for Care-A-Van service and bus routes that would extend beyond the city of Kalamazoo. The tax will generate approximately $3.27 million a year.

For the second part of the plan, the City Commission is expected to approve another measure for the November ballot, in which voters within the city of Kalamazoo would be asked to approve another 0.6-mill tax. The city tax in November would raise about $1.06 million annually for Metro Transit within Kalamazoo.

The news from Grand Rapids, MI was not as positive. Voters in Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Walker, Wyoming and Grandville failed to approve a property tax increase to pay for a high-speed bus line operated by The Rapid. Although the measure appeared on the ballot last week, the 0.16-mill increase was not scheduled to go into effect until 2012. Election results were 52% against and 48% in favor.
Revenue from the tax would have covered operating costs of the new system and maintenance for existing Rapid bus routes.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

2009 Transit Initiative & Communities Conference - Register Today!

2009 Transit Initiatives and Communities Conference

Salt Lake City, Utah

May 31 - June 2, 2009

Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel

The Center for Transportation Excellence is gearing up for its biannual Transit Initiatives and Communities Conference. This year's conference will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah from May 31 - June 2, 2009. TIC brings together transit agencies, local officials, transportation supporters, advocates, and ballot measure campaign professionals to get the latest information on transportation ballot measures.

Although transportation measures have traditionally done well at the ballot, many communities are uncertain of how to approach voters with local transportation's need for financial support. This year's conference will take an in-depth look at how to pass initiatives and build support for transportation investment in the midst of the current economy.

The TIC Conference features leading national transportation experts, seasoned campaign professionals, and lots of opportunities for interaction and dialogue. Sessions will detail the latest in financial trends, their impact on transportation and how to translate this knowledge into a successful ballot measure.

This year's sessions include:

* Pitching Your Ballot Measure in Tough Economic Times
* Turning Values into Votes through Regional Visioning
* Campaign Tactics: Using New Technologies in Your Campaign
* The Big Picture - Economic Trends, the Recession & Your Ballot Measure
* Building the Transit Vote Coalition

Register Now
or Learn how you can become a Sponsor

Friday, February 20, 2009

Oh, the Places You'll Go....With a Little Stimulus Funding

Transit agencies and advocates are hopeful that some funding from the $787 billion economic stimulus bill will make its way into their cities and communities. The stimulus bill included $8.4 billion in funding for transit and $8 billion in funding for high-speed rail corridors, the latter being inserted into the bill by a specific request from President Barack Obama.

MARTA in Atlanta is hoping that more than $60 million in funds will make it their way, although the funding is likely to be used to maintain current programs rather than expand service.

The Florida High Speed Rail Authority is hopeful that some of the $8 billion in high speed rail funding will be used to begin construction on a high speed rail line from Orlanda to Tampa. The high speed rail line has been on the back burner since November 2004 when voters opposed using state taxes for the project.