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Transit Election Trends: a look back at Election 2013 + ahead to 2014. November 12, 2013 Washington, DC. Today’s Speakers. Jason Jordan , Director, Center for Transportation Excellence Matt Leow , Senior Consultant, M+R Strategic Services

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Presentation Transcript
today s speakers
Today’s Speakers
  • Jason Jordan, Director, Center for Transportation Excellence
  • Matt Leow, Senior Consultant, M+R Strategic Services
  • Kate Whiting, Field Director, Transportation Choices Coalition
  • Andrew Austin, Director, Americans for Transit

2013 Results:

15 Measures

10 Wins – 4 Losses – 1 Pending

71.1% Approval Rate

election day isn t over
Election Day isn’t Over

‘Improve Our Tulsa’ Ballot Measure

$919 million capital improvement package

Extends existing 1.1% sales tax and $355 million bond package

$30 million for transit

$24 million for bike / ped

Tulsa County to vote in Spring ‘14


4 Elections in 2013

Kalamazoo County – Property Tax Renewal

Escanaba Township – Property Tax

Wells Township – Property Tax

Schoolcraft County – Property Tax Increase

Wins in Kalamazoo Co., Schoolcraft Co.

Losses in Wells and Escanaba Townships


Grays Harbor

YES: 71%

NO: 29%


YES: 56%

NO: 44%

0.1% Sales tax increase in Grays Harbor County Passes; Restores significant service cuts

0.4% Sales tax established to create the Okanogan County Transit Authority


Lake County approves a dedicated, permanent sales tax set aside (.25%) for LakeTran

Lorain County defeats .04 mill property tax increase for local transit service (41% - 59%)

Perrysburg approves .08 mill, 5-year property tax. Voted in 2012 to leave the regional transit authority. Second measure to fund local service; first (larger) measure defeated. (72% -28%)

Spencer Township votes again on TARTA. Narrowly votes to leave the system. Similar measure defeated in ‘12.

north carolina
North Carolina

Raleigh, NC approves $75 million bond initiative for transportation projects.

Spotlight remains on Wake County in 2014 with a potential sales tax initiative for transit joining neighboring Orange and Durham Counties.

YES: 70%

NO: 30%


YES: 57%


Property tax increases passes in Missoula for

the Mountain Line.


Nederland, CO passes property tax measure to create Nederland Eco Pass improvement district with free transit service.

Statewide school reform and tax measure fails.

Transit advocates ponder options, including a statewide transportation measure, for 2014.

YES: 55%

NO: 45%


Statewide $100 million transportation bond package

One of five bond measures approved by voters; won with the largest margin

Multimodal initiative

YES: 72%

NO: 28%

background on the missoula urban transportation district mutd
Background on the Missoula Urban Transportation District (MUTD)

Operates Mountain Line, Missoula’s community bus service – 12 fixed routes, para-transit service, senior van, vanpool.

Created by voters in 1976. Nov. 2013 was the first time MUTD has placed a mill levy request before voters since then.

New improvements: wi-fi, 3-bike racks, phone app.

Setting ridership records the last several years, nearly 1 million rides.

planning for expanded service
Planning for Expanded Service
  • 2011-2012 Comprehensive Operational Analysis and development of 5 phase plan.
  • Focused on increasing ridership by creating:
    • Higher-frequency service on key routes
    • Late evening service
    • Senior van and paratransit approaching capacity.
  • Phases 2 through 5 would require new money
the campaign stage 1 assessing the community
The Campaign – Stage 1:Assessing the Community
  • 60 one-on-one community interviews
  • Public opinion research/community survey


  • Mountain Line is a trusted community partner.
  • Broad (but not intense) support for a levy:
    • 61% support (27% strong, 34% weak)
    • 36% against (19% strong, 17% weak)
the campaign stage 2 positioning for success
The Campaign – Stage 2:Positioning for Success
  • 35th Anniversary in 2013 – begun year-long promotion of Mountain Line’s 35 years of community bus service to build goodwill.
  • Strategic communications throughout 2013:
    • Outreach at community events, earned and paid media
    • Partnerships, prizes, etc.
the campaign stage 3 vote for our bus and missoula s future
The Campaign – Stage 3:Vote FOR Our Bus and Missoula’s Future
  • Friends of Mountain Line ballot committee.
  • Treasurer and steering committee.
  • Strategy – direct voter contact for voter ID & GOTV using traditional and new online tools.
  • Key partners – MontPIRG, Montana Conservation Voters.
community endorsements
Community Endorsements


ASUM Office of Transportation

American Public Transportation Association

Bike/Walk Alliance for Missoula

Community Medical Center

Draught Works Brewery



Missoula Area Central Labor Council

Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce

Missoula Community Food Co-op

Missoula County Democrats

Missoula Downtown Association

Montana Chapter of the Sierra Club

Montana Conservation Voters

Montana Public Interest Research Group (MontPIRG)

Montana Women Vote

M+R Strategic Services

North-Missoula Community Development Corporation

Opportunity Resources, Inc.

pLAND Land Use Consulting

Providence St. Patrick Hospital

Southgate Mall

Teamsters Local Union No. 2

Western Montana Mental Health Center


John Engen, Mayor

Congressman Pat Williams (ret.)

AsaHohman, President, Associated Students of the University of Montana

Rep. Bryce Bennett

Rep. Jen Gursky

Rep. Ellie Hill

Rep. Nancy Wilson

Rep. Carolyn Squires

Sen. Carol Williams (ret.)

Sen. Sue Malek

Jason Wiener, City Council, Ward 1

Dave Strohmaier, City Council, Ward 1

Cynthia Wolken, City Council, Ward 2

Alex Taft, City Council, Ward 3

Caitlin Copple, City Council, Ward 4

Jordan Hess, City Council candidate

Bryan von Lossberg, City Council candidate

Emily Bentley, City Council candidate

Andrea Davis

Anne M. Breum D.M.D., P.C

Daniel Kemmis (former Mayor)

Elaine Hawk

Ellen Buchanan

Jack Chambers

key media coverage
Key Media Coverage

“Reward Mountain Line service, support mill levy” – MissoulianEditorial

“Business leaders support Mountain Line mill levy request” -- by Todd Frank (MDA) and Tim Winger (Mall)

“Endorsement: Vote “Yes” on Mountain Line Mill Levy” – Missoula Independent

get out the vote
Get Out the Vote!
  • Mail Ballot – Two Weeks
  • Urban Core Voters
  • ID List of 14,000 +
  • GOTV focused on ID’ed voters, Model Voters, Pledges and MCV Lists (members)
  • Tracking of ID’ed daily. Our voter outperformed average voters by nearly 10 percentage points
  • Phone Calls carried the day.
election results nov 5
Election Results—Nov. 5
  • Mill Levy passes with 57% of the vote
  • Wins in 5 out of 6 City Wards
  • Strong support in the urban core
  • Overall voter turnout 42% = avg. of municipal vote-by-mail elections
upcoming webinars
Upcoming Webinars

January 14, 2014

Getting Ready for the Ballot

February 18, 2014

Funding Your Campaign

March 25, 2014

Making Friends for Transit Investment

Register at



Jason Jordan

Director, CFTE


Thanks to our cosponsor