Reconnecting America People * Places * Possibility

Do's and Don'ts of Transit Tax Elections

The Mineta Transportation Institute has completed an analysis of the dos and don'ts of running ballot campaigns for rail transit projects. "Revisiting Factors Associated with the Success of Ballot Initiatives with a Substantial Rail Transit Component" continues previous work that reviewed transit tax elections in 11 urban areas and developed 17 community-level factors that influence the success or failure of the ballot measures.

The review of more recent elections generated findings consistent with the early research.

"Thus this analysis reaffirms the importance for community consensus amongst the business, elected and environmental communities, and accompanying depth of financial support. Once again, the difficulty of passing an initiative without well-funded, effective use of multimedia was validated, as was the importance of utilizing experienced campaign consultants," the researchers noted.

The new research looked at:

  • Maricopa, AZ (November 2, 2004): Success
  • Seattle (November 6, 2007): Failure
  • Charlotte, Mecklenburg County (November 6, 2007): Success
  • City and County of Honolulu (November 4, 2008): Success
  • Los Angeles County (November 4, 2008): Success
  • Kansas City, MO (November 4, 2008): Failure
  • St. Louis County (November 4, 2008): Failure
  • Santa Clara County (November 4, 2008): Success