High-Speed Rail Looks Golden in a Good Night for Transit

A promo for California’s victorious Prop 1A touts the connection between high-speed rail and smart growth.

Last night The Overhead Wire‘s Jeff Wood gave a heroic play-by-play of several transit ballot initiatives, live-blogging results into the wee hours. The big-ticket item — California’s bond issue for a high-speed rail line spanning most of the state — passed with about 52 percent of the vote. Plenty of other measures passed too, with notable exceptions in Missouri, where Kansas City voters rejected a light rail line, and St. Louis opted not to increase funding for transit operations and expansion.

New transit systems and expansions were approved in Los Angeles, Seattle, Honolulu, West Sacramento, Marin County, and Aspen. Voters in Milwaukee and Berkeley signed off on new funding streams for operations, while another measure in Berkeley that would have made it tougher to launch BRT lines went down to defeat.

In a press release, CALPIRG cautioned that the high-speed rail line is not yet a fait accompli:

This vote confirms California’s commitment to building high-speed rail. Now California leaders must continue fighting for the project in order to start laying the tracks as quickly as possible. Before we spend bond funds on construction, Congress and private companies will have to match California’s commitment to the train. We need that to happen quickly because this project cannot be delayed any longer.

Damien Newton has more on California’s transpo ballot measures over at Streetsblog LA.

Video: California High-Speed Rail Blog

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