While national races remain nail-biters, the results are in (and generally positive) for several local transit and climate ballot questions. Here’s a roundup of what passed, and what didn’t:
Two victories in Texas
Austin, one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation, finally approved a major new light rail network after failing twice before (in 2000 and 2014).
Capital Metro’s “Project Connect” plan would raise $7.5 billion from local property taxes to build two new light rail lines, a new commuter rail line, a downtown transit tunnel, and a bus rapid transit network, and new e-bikes and stations for the local bikesharing system.
The sales tax is expected to keep trains running, and keep the electrification project on schedule.
Gwinnett County rejects transit (again)
Gwinnett County, a diverse suburban region northeast of Atlanta (and just out of reach of MARTA’s existing Gold Line), rejected the “Gwinnett Connect” transit plan, which would have levied a new 1% sales tax to fund a $12 billion transit expansion, including a short extension of MARTA’s Gold Line into the county, and new bus rapid transit services to connect to it.