Big Picture Transit Measures – What’s in our local future?

[Moderator: I’ve turned Douglas K’s comment in the Open Topics thread into it’s own post.]

Douglas K. Wrote:

In Los Angeles, voters approved Measure R by 67% to 33% – a $40 billion-over-30-year project to expand subway, light rail, commuter rail, busways, and local/limited bus service throughout Los Angeles County.

In the Seattle area, voters passed (barely) Sound Transit’s Proposition 1, $17.9 billion plan to expand express buses, light rail, and commuter rail throughout the Puget Sound region.

Asking for money for huge packages of transit projects is nothing new. Four years ago, Denver voters approved the $4.7 billion FasTracks package for light rail, commuter rail and bus rapid transit.

If they can do it, we can do it.

Is it really that far-fetched to ask Tri-Met area voters to approve a major light rail, commuter rail, interurban trolley (Portland-Lake Oswego) and bus rapid transit package? What’s the wish list? If Tri-Met were to go to voters with a big-multi-project transit proposal, what should be included?

Also, Tri-Met needs to stop getting gun-shy about asking voters for money. Tri-Met district voters rejected ONE light rail fudning plan (downtown to Clackamas TC) 10 years by a narrow margin, in an election when it was competing with a number of other ballot measures. But that was after they voted “yes” on three successive light rail projects (Westside light rail in 1990, South/North in 1994, and the voter referral of South/North state funding in 1996. Light rail is popular and has a history of support. There’s no reason a comprehensive regional transit plan couldn’t pass, as long as it served all areas.

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