Transit on the ballot: How cities voted to fund transportation

Two years ago, voters across the country approved dozens of major transportation measures funneling billions of dollars into transit infrastructure projects.

While there weren’t quite as many major transit-related referendums on ballots last night, some notable measures to fund transportation saw big wins, including several victorious candidates who made transportation a key part of their platforms.

Governors make transportation a priority

Several governors who won decisively last night campaigned on promises to bring better transit to their constituents. But none more effectively than Michigan’s gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer, who ran on the platform “Fix the Damn Roads” (which she later revised to “Fix the Roads,” due to FCC concerns).

Beyond simply addressing the state’s crumbling and pothole-ridden streets, Whitmer’s pledge is part of a comprehensive infrastructure plan she has laid out for the state that includes a big push for public transit, including reviving Detroit’s failed regional plan, which did not get placed on the 2018 ballot, and an overhaul of the state’s beleaguered water system.

California keeps its gas tax, Washington rejects a carbon tax

Last year, California’s state legislature passed State Bill 1 into law, imposing a higher tax on gasoline which could be used to fund road construction, bridge and tunnel repair, and public transit. The state’s Proposition 6, which attempted to undo SB 1, was soundly defeated last night. (Many believed it was placed on the ballot as a way to entice Republican voters to the polls.)