Results from Last Night’s Election :
Barack Obama, as you know, has won the Presidency. This is excellent news for transit supporters.
In the most important election of the evening, it appears that California’s High Speed Rail will get its $10 billion bond. This was a close election, with 52% in favor, and 48% opposed.
Los Angeles voters have approved Measure R by a margin of 67-33, just above the necessary 2/3 majority, providing the starting funds for their proposed Subway to the Sea and dramatically improving the prospect for a more livable L.A.
In Santa Clara County, it looks like Measure B, the effort to extend BART to San Jose, has made it through with a 66-33% passage. came incredibly close to passing, at 66.27%, but failed because it needed a 66.66% (2/3) majority.
In Honolulu, pro-rail Mayor Mufi Hannemann easily won reelection and the effort to establish rail in the city won on a 53-47% margin.
In Seattle, it looks like Prop 1, the measure to dramatically ramp up light rail construction in the city, has passed by an overwhelming 59-41% margin.
In New Mexico, the effort for a new transit tax for increased commuter rail, passed with a 57-43% margin.
In West Sacramento, voters agreed with the idea of building a streetcar, but appear not to have received the 2/3 majority necessary to pay for it.
In Sonoma and Marin Counties, Measure Q to build a SMART commuter train, passed with a 74-26% margin.
In Kansas City, the effort to build light rail has failed with a 44-56% margin.
In St. Louis, Proposition M to expand Metrolink, failed with a 48-52% margin.
Overall, this was a pretty good night for transit, with the exception of in Missouri, which suffered two defeats. The election of Barack Obama, however, is more important than anything else, because it guarantees a federal government that will play an important role in funding transit infrastructure.
We should be looking forward to an exciting four years!