November 4, 2020

Contact: Ian Moor

Chad Chitwood


 In Tuesday’s election, voters across the U.S. passed 13 out of 15 measures supporting public transit, boasting a 92% win rate in 2020 so far

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In communities across the country, voters on Tuesday continued to voice their overwhelming support for public transit by approving 13 out of 15 measures supporting public transit. At this time, 3 measures are still awaiting results or confirmation. Last night’s results add to the 32 public transit measures already passed by voters this year, bringing this year’s total to 45 out of 49 wins for public transit, a 92% win rate. This number is expected to hold steady as final results come in for the remaining measures.

Tuesday’s results add to a banner year for public transit at the ballot box. In the face of the huge changes and difficult challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, voters have risen to meet the moment. Last night’s results showed that voters understand that forward-thinking investments into our future are the only way to help our communities rebound from the prolonged pandemic.

”Voters throughout the country once again overwhelmingly said ‘yes’ to public transit ballot measures that will expand and improve public transit, spur economic development and job creation, and connect communities and the people who live in them,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “Even during this pandemic and economic downturn, voters have spoken and pledged their vote where they know it’s needed – public transportation investment. These ballots once again underscore the importance of local, state, and federal partnerships in transportation investment.”

“Voters showed last night that they’re willing to think big about our future. Americans voted to invest in transit and in their communities,” said Josh Cohen, Executive Director of APTA’s Center for Transportation Excellence. “The big measures this year were innovative and collaborative, and represent an approach to development that extends beyond mobility alone. The measures, and the campaigns themselves, talked to voters about equity, cleaner air and water, economic growth, and support for frontline and essential workers –a message and approach that was met with applause.”

The measures considered Tuesday represent over $38 billion in new funding. Some of last night’s biggest victories for public transit include:

  • Prop A in Austin, Texas, which would provide huge investments in bus and rail to manage Austin’s urban growth while providing hundreds of millions of dollars for community-led anti-displacement measures;
  • Prop A in San Antonio, Texas, which would allow VIA Metropolitan Transit to continue to operate at its best capacity during the pandemic;
  • Measure RR in the Bay Area, CA, which would provide the first dedicated source of funding for Caltrain;
  • Prop 1 in Seattle, WA, which would renew a tax that funds bus service and subsidized pass programs for students and other groups; and,
  • The Mountain Line mill levy increase in Missoula, MT, which would, among other improvements, fund Missoula’s innovative Zero Fare program.

Unfortunately, the following measures fell short:

  • Measure 26-218 in Portland, OR, which would fund a large slate of transportation, transit, and safety improvements throughout the region to address historically inequitable transportation planning;
  • A measure in Newton County, GA, to institute a 1% TSPLOST sales tax that would benefit transit.

At the time this note was sent, the following measures have not yet been called:

  • The Gwinnett transit referendum in Gwinnett County, GA, which would bring MARTA service, including light rail, BRT, and expanded bus service, to Gwinnett County;
  • A measure in Monroe County, MI, to renew a 1-mill levy for Lake Erie Transit for 3 years.

APTA’s Center for Transportation Excellence tracks all of the measures at its website and through its Twitter account. Additionally, we created a quick and easy spreadsheet of the measures decided last night.

Please let us know if you have additional questions.