Join the Movement

Members of Voices for Public Transit know public transportation benefits everyone. We’re keeping it moving.

Join the Movement

Members of Voices for Public Transit know public transportation benefits everyone. We’re keeping it moving.

The Latest

  • Making Public Transportation a Priority in 2017

    As the year winds down, we want to look ahead to the opportunities — and challenges — for advancing public transportation in 2017.

    President-elect Donald Trump has made it clear his administration will focus on improving America’s infrastructure. During his campaign, he championed a plan to invest $1 trillion in infrastructure over the next decade.

    This should encourage public transportation advocates, but we know that a divisive political climate will hinder passing any kind of legislation while making policy prediction difficult. Even President-elect Trump’s fellow Republican, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has said infrastructure is not a top priority.

    It is possible a middle ground will be reached and an infrastructure bill (albeit on a smaller scale) considered in the first months of the year. Whether we actually see a record-setting $1 trillion infrastructure bill or a more modest plan, the goal of Voices for Public Transit is to ensure improving and expanding public transportation remains of utmost importance among all the priorities vying for funding.

    Public Transportation Supports Key Trump Priorities

    We think it safe to assume that President-elect Trump, as a New Yorker, knows firsthand how public transportation encourages economic development in local communities. It enables people to reach jobs, access services and participate in local commerce. Public transportation also supports real estate development and vibrant communities — points that should resonate with the new president.

    The benefits of public transportation are not limited to large cities. Investment in public transportation can stimulate job creation and investment in exurban and suburban communities, as well as provide residents of rural communities access to a wider array of jobs and educational opportunities — all of which represent key portions of Trump’s initiative to put Americans back to work. Voices for Public Transit will take steps to ensure Washington maintains its commitment to public transportation and understands the great extent to which our country would benefit.

    Let’s Welcome Congress to Washington

    In January, members of the 115th United States Congress will begin their work. The House and Senate mostly will be made up of returning officials, but there will be many new faces as well.

    As our first action next year, Voices for Public Transit will be welcoming all members of Congress—new and returning — to Washington. We’ll be communicating with public officials to highlight our advocacy movement and underscore the importance of public transportation to the future of our nation. Voices for Public Transit members should be ready to act to let Washington know not only that we support public transit but why public transit is such an important resource for our nation’s future.

    Please be on the lookout early next year for the launch of our “Welcome to Washington” initiative. If you’re not already on our email list, please sign up now — and encourage your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and others to join our effort.

  • VPT Votes 2016: Time to Vote for Public Transit!

    According to a recent editorial in the New York Times, 2016 “could be record year for transportation ballot proposals, because local politicians and voters have realized that Congress is not coming to rescue America’s aging bridges, roads and transit systems.”

    Many of the transportation measures on ballots today will either strengthen or hinder local public transit for years — even decades.

    We urge you to support measures in your area that will provide critical funding for public transportation initiatives. We’ve highlighted some key examples of transportation ballot measures facing voters across the country:

    But, of course, the most important ballot measure is always the one on YOUR local ballot. And today is the day you can make the most difference for public transit in YOUR area.

    Tips for Voting

    Voting is a pretty straightforward process, but here are some tips to make your trip to the polls as smooth as possible.

    • Complete Your Research Before Heading to the Polls — Take some time to read about issues and candidates online so you know how you’ll be casting your vote before you head to the polls.
    • Find Your Polling Place and Hours — You can find out where to vote by visiting the website of your state or local election office. Some resources for finding polling locations include and Get to the Polls. You can also just search on Google: “Where do I vote?”
    • Plan Your Travel — Find the best route to your polling place, and consider riding public transit if it’s available.
    • Leave Time for Lines — Many polling places are anticipating long lines this year. Allow plenty of time to travel and wait.
    • Bring Your Photo ID (not required in all states) — If you have a photo ID (e.g., a driver’s license), bring it to the polls. Some states require photo ID, while some request it even though it isn’t required.

    Let others know on social media that you’ve voted and urge them to vote as well. You can encourage your online networks to support public transit at the polls by sharing a Voices for Public Transit election graphic from our VPT Votes 2016 Election Toolkit.

    Please return to the Voices for Public Transit blog soon to read our round-up of election results. Our fingers are crossed for public transit.

  • Supoort Public Transportation with Election Toolkit Flyer

    Americans across the country are already voting — by absentee and mail-in ballots. But there’s still time to encourage your friends, family, co-workers, and others to support public transportation when they vote.

    Voices for Public Transit’s Election Toolkit includes a window sign and social media graphics to help show your support for public transportation.

    The toolkit also includes a “Vote for Public Transit” flyer that highlights some great facts and messages that make the case for public transportation, including:

    • Everyone benefits from public transportation — even people who don’t ride.
    • Public transportation is a far safer way to commute than traveling by private car.
    • Public transit reduces pollution and eases traffic congestion.

    Share Online and Offline

    Our “Vote for Public Transit” flyer can be easily downloaded and emailed to others. You can also share it on social media. But we especially encourage you to print copies of the flyer and hand out as many as possible. Here are some ideas:

    • Place copies on the tables or counter of your workplace’s kitchen, break room, or cafeteria.
    • Leave a small stack in a public area of your apartment building; e.g., on a foyer table.
    • Pin a copy on a library or church basement bulletin board.
    • Hand out copies to your neighbors or leave them at their doors — just remember not to place them in a mailbox.

    Do you have ideas for sharing our flyer? Let us know by tweeting @APTA_Transit or posting on the Public Transportation Facebook page.

    And remember to vote yourself! We look forward to reporting back how public transportation fares in this year’s election. Fingers crossed.

  • A Sign of the Times: Raising Awareness of Public Transit before Election Day

    Most campaign signs are for candidates. You can stand out in your neighborhood — or at work — by posting an election window sign on an issue that impacts all of us: public transportation.

    Download and Print the Voices for Public Transit Window Sign

    Your sign will raise awareness about local public transportation measures and remind voters to look down their ballots and vote to support public transit. In addition, your sign will help connect voters with Voices for Public Transit!

    Window Signs Aren’t Just for Windows Anymore

    We recognize that not everyone has a good, visible window for a hanging a campaign sign. Or maybe hanging signs is against your building’s rules. Here are some other ideas for using the window sign:

    • Post a window sign on your cubicle or office door.
    • Make a yard sign using the window sign, a piece of cardboard, and a wire hanger — just make sure you only display your sign on your property.
    • Distribute window signs to local businesses for their windows.
    • Hand out signs for your friends and family use to build awareness in their communities.

    Not a window sign person? No worries. Voices for Public Transit’s Election Toolkit 2016 also includes a flyer that you can share with friends, neighbors, co-workers, and others, as well as social media shareable graphics that you can post on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.

    Please use one or all of these materials to encourage others to support public transportation when they vote on November 8.

  • Support Public Transit This Election on Social Media

    The election is just around the corner — and every vote for public transportation counts. Local measures are often passed — or defeated — by a slim margin, so if your ballot has a regional transportation measure, be sure to vote on it.

    To help you show your support for public transportation — and raise awareness among voters in your community and online networks—Voices for Public Transit has created an Election Toolkit 2016. As a reminder, the toolkit includes:

    • A window sign to display your support for public transportation
    • A flyer that helps you educate other voters about public transit
    • Social media shareable graphics to spread the word on social media

    We want to especially highlight the importance of making use of the Toolkit’s social media graphics. With more people spending time online and on their mobile devices, social media is one of the best ways to spread our message encouraging voters to support public transit at the polls. There are two easy steps you can take:

    • Change Your Profile Picture — Download and change your profile picture to our special “I’m Voting for Public Transportation!” graphic to highlight your support among your online circles. Every time you post or tweet, your profile picture will show your support for public transportation.
    • Share a Graphic — Social media posts earn more attention when they include an image. We’ve created two images to share with your online networks. It’s a good idea to add your own message in the post, too.

    Given the continuous coverage of the presidential race, it’s easy to forget that millions of Americans will be voting on local issues as well. By sharing Voices for Public Transit’s election graphics, you’ll remind your online networks that we have a chance to guide the future of transportation at the ballot box by voting for public transportation on November 8.

  • Voters Can Advance Public Transit by Voting “YES” on Local and State Measures

    Last year’s passage of a long-term federal transportation funding bill — the FAST Act — was a critical step in getting America’s public transportation back on track.

    But the fact is that federal funding provides only a percentage of the dollars needed for transportation, including public transit. Cities, counties, and states must also contribute funding and leadership for transportation. In addition, local spending is often required to receive matching federal grants.

    For these reasons, it is critical for voters around the country to vote YES on local and state transportation measures. Below we highlight measures in several states.

    • In Maine, a YES vote on Question 6 will raise $100 million in bond funding for local public transit services, as well as for road and bridge improvements. Passage of Question 6 will also qualify Maine to receive an estimated $137 million in matching federal funds.
    • Southeast Michigan voters will vote on the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) measure that will extend bus and rail service throughout the area, strengthening connections and mobility for 4.2 million people. In addition, Eaton County voters will decide on renewing funding for their local transit system.
    • In Flagstaff, Arizona, voters will decide on Prop 411, which will renew a modest local sales tax that funds the Mountain Line bus system.

    These ballot measures highlight the need for our continued support of public transportation initiatives, and more importantly—the need to get out and vote! Keep in mind that local measures are often passed or defeated by very slim margins, so every vote is important.

    In addition to voting yourself, you can help raise awareness about supporting public transit initiatives and encourage others to vote as well by utilizing the resources of Voices for Public Transit’s Election Toolkit.

  • Many Northwest Voters Will Decide on Local Public Transit Measures

    Funding for public transportation can be complex, and ballot measures, referenda, and other initiatives aimed at improving public transit often pass or fail by extremely slim margins.

    There are several local contests in the Northwest, notably:

    • In Seattle, voters will decide on ST3, which will provide funding for Sound Transit improvements and help fight the region’s terrible traffic congestion.
    • In Spokane, Proposition 1 will bring critical improvements to local bus service — if voters approve the measure.
    • Kitsap County voters will have the chance to approve Fast Ferries, which will speed travel times to Seattle. Passage of the Fast Ferry measure will also expand bus service.
    • In Portland suburb Tigard, voters will decide if they want to connect to area’s great MAX light rail system.

    These ballot measures highlight the need for our continued support of public transportation initiatives, and more importantly — the need to get out and vote!

    Public transit advocates and supporters can play an important role in helping to pass local public transportation ballot measures needed to meet the funding requirements that federal dollars don’t cover. You can help ensure public transit moves forward in your community by:

    Even if such measures aren’t up for a vote in your community this election, remember that state and local elected representatives often have the power to get future issues on the ballot — so make sure you know what your candidates think about public transportation.

  • Midwest Voters to Decide the Future of Local Public Transportation

    Funding for public transportation can be intricate, and ballot measures, referenda, and other initiatives aimed at improving public transit often pass or fail by extremely slim margins.

    There’s no shortage of local contests in the Midwest, especially in Indiana and Ohio:

    • In Indianapolis and Marion County, voters will decide on a measure to provide $56 million in annual funding for IndyGo, the city’s popular bus service.
    • In Ohio, voters in Franklin County (Columbus), Lorain County, and Stark County face major decisions on the future of transportation. Columbus’s Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) hopes voters will renew 0.25-percent sales tax for 10 years, which is estimated to generate about $62 million a year for the transit authority in the busy state capital area.
    • In Illinois, voters will decide the fate of proposed Amendment HJR CA36 — the Transportation Taxes and Fees Lockbox Amendment — which will ensure that transportation-related fees and taxes are only used to support transportation projects, including public transit.

    These referendums highlight the need for our continued support of public transportation issues, and more importantly — the need to get out and vote!

    Public transit advocates and supporters can play an important role in helping to pass local public transportation ballot measures needed to meet the funding federal dollars don’t cover. You can help ensure public transit moves forward in your community by:

    Even if such measures aren’t up for a vote in your community this election, remember that state and local elected representatives often have the power to get future issues on the ballot — so make sure you know what your candidates think about public transportation.

  • Local Public Transportation at Stake in the Southeast

    A number of local government authorities like cities, counties, and municipalities help fund worthwhile public transit projects — but typically, the measures they use to provide funding must be approved by local voters.

    Election Day 2016 will see important ballot measures decided across the country, including in Southeastern states like Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

    • A compromise on SB 369 was hammered out among Georgia state legislators at the 11th hour in Atlanta and approved by the city council. Voters will decide on a measure to pay for $2.5 billion in funding over the next 40 years to support bus and rail expansion projects in Atlanta, as well as other service enhancements. However, the deal allows the rest of Fulton County to opt out of future proposals in order to appease representatives who strongly oppose tax increases.
    • In Greensboro and Wake County, North Carolina, residents will be voting on measures to raise funds to improve bus service, strengthen community connections, and reduce traffic.
    • In Charleston, South Carolina, local residents will be voting on a local sales tax referendum to raise $2.1 billion, mostly for transportation, including new bus rapid transit (BRT) service.
    • Virginia Beach residents will vote on a measure to simply voice their support for bringing the Tide light rail to the city center.

    Federal funding often isn’t enough to fund local public transit projects on its own — in fact, the federal government usually won’t fund a project without some level of matching funds from the community or state.

    Even getting such public transportation funding measures on the ballot is quite a challenge — which makes it all the more important to vote for them on November 8. 2016 ballot initiatives are important opportunities for voters: it’s rare that an issue that makes the ballot and fails is later resurrected and passed. Voters have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build out essential public transportation infrastructure in their local areas.

    As supporters of public transit, it’s up to us get out and vote this November! Use our Voices for Public Transit election toolkit to get started today.

  • Local Transportation Ballot Measures in the Golden State

    Local investments authorized by voters are an important complement to federal dollars provided in the FAST Act, and in some cases, can even help win federal matching support for local public transportation projects.

    California Leads the Way

    Californians will vote on more transportation measures than residents of any other state. It’s notable that these measures aim to improve public transportation in a wide range of communities — from large cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, to suburban areas, small towns, and rural areas. Here are some of the measures being put before California voters:

    • Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan ProposalMeasure M would raise area sales tax by a half-cent to fund new rail lines, improve bus and rail service, and support multi-modal transportation.
    • Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Bond Measure RR — The current BART system is stretched beyond capacity and badly needs upgrades. Measure RR would raise $3.5 billion for BART via a modest property tax increase.
    • County Transportation Sales Tax Proposals — Voters in several counties across California will consider sales tax increases — by a half-cent in most cases — to fund improvements in transportation, including public transit. Measures will be appearing on ballots in Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Diego, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Ventura Counties.

    Transportation supporters should also be aware that some ballot proposals may seek to limit public transportation or reduce funding. In California, two state legislators filed a ballot initiative to take funding away from the state’s high-speed rail project. The measure did not qualify for the ballot, but it could return in 2018.

    However, Prop 53, a measure that would limit the ability of the state to issue bonds for transportation and infrastructure projects, did make it onto the statewide ballot this year. Public transit supporters should vote NO on Prop 53.

    It’s important to keep in mind that public transit funding is often included in measures to raise dollars for many transportation projects, including road improvements. As a public transit advocate, you may want to see more funding allocated specifically for buses and rail, but keep in mind that ballot proposals are often compromises, aimed at improving transportation for both drivers and public transit riders. In addition, of course, buses usually share roads with cars.

    November’s elections are just weeks away, voters throughout the country will have the opportunity to vote on ballot measures to improve public transportation. Regardless of where you live, we encourage you to stay informed about — and support! — local proposals for advancing public transportation.

    One important thing you can do if there’s a transportation measure on your local ballot — besides voting yourself — is to help raise awareness and encourage others to vote as well. Check out the Voices for Public Transit Election Toolkit for resources to help you get out the vote for public transit in your area!

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