Thursday’s Headlines to Keep You Going

  • Tuesday night’s election was a nail-biter, and it still ain’t over yet, but it was a good night for transit, with 13 out of 17 major initiatives on state and local ballots passing. (Streetsblog USA)
  • The most closely watched nationally was Prop 22 in California, where voters exempted Uber and Lyft from a state law classifying their drivers as employees entitled to benefits instead of independent contractors (CNN). Mother Jones says the ride-hailing companies essentially bought the election by spending $200 million, which is a pittance when they’ll now be allowed to pay drivers as little as $5.64 an hour. But Vice says their business model is doomed anyway.
  • Also in California, Measure RR will provide Caltrain with a stable source of funding for the first time. (Streetsblog SF, NBC Bay Area)
  • Austin voters overwhelmingly approved the $7-billion Project Connect transit plan (Monitor). They also approved a smaller package of street, trail, bike lane and sidewalk improvements. (KXAN)
  • San Antonio also approved a sales-tax measure to expand transit. (Express-News).
  • Seattle at least partially replaced a car-tab fee that’s faced legal challenges with a sales-tax hike to fund transit. (Seattle Times)
  • A tight referendum on transit in the notoriously auto-centric Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County remains in limbo, though, as absentee ballots are still being counted. A previous attempt in 2018 failed badly, though, so even a close loss would be progress. (Daily Post)
  • A $4-billion payroll tax hike for bus service and other transportation improvements bitterly that was bitterly opposed by businesses failed in Portland, though. (Willamette Week)
  • However, Bend, Ore., approved a $190-million bond issue that will pay for bike and pedestrian infrastructure, among other things. (Bulletin)
  • In other news, charges were dropped against an Asheville, N.C., police officer who pleaded guilty of beating a Black man for jaywalking in 2017. (WRAL)

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