Voters around the country approved 88% of the 380 state and local transportation funding measures on the ballots Nov. 8, producing an estimated $19.6 billion in one-time and recurring revenue for infrastructure projects, a new American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) report says. 

Separately, the American Public Transportation Association said 14 of 19 key ballot measures backing transit passed on Nov. 8. APTA said the approved measures will generate more than $4 billion.

The ARTBA report, released Nov. 9 by its Transportation Investment Advocacy Center, refers to its data as "initial" and says that as of that date, results for 23 ballot initiatives were not yet complete.

Carolyn Kramer Simons, director of the ARTBA center, said in a statement, “A key takeaway is that voters remain committed to investing their tax dollars in better streets, roads, bridges and transit systems even in the face of record inflation and high gasoline prices that are straining household budgets.”

Texas, San Francisco, Colorado Measures Pass

Voters in jurisdictions in Texas approved a total of 114 measures, which will provide a total of $12.9 billion for infrastructure. That amount of revenue was the largest among all states, according to the ARTBA report.

Among a variety of initiatives that passed in California was the 69%-to-31% vote by San Francisco voters to continue an existing 0.5% sales tax for 30 more years. 

San Francisco voters also authorized its transportation authority to issue up to $1.91 billion in bonds that are to be repaid by revenue from the sales tax. The levy is expected to produce as much as $236 million per year.

But the ARTBA report also notes that a sales tax measure was defeated in Fresno, Calif.

In Colorado, voters in El Paso County by an 80% to 20% margin approved an extension of the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority one-cent sales tax, whose proceeds go for local transportation projects. The tax is estimated to raise $1 billion over 10 years.

Of that total, the largest share—55%—is earmarked for capital projects, 35% to maintenance work and 10% for transit.

Looking at the nationwide picture, of the 380 measures, 37% involved property taxes, 34% dealt with bonds and 22% concerned sales or income taxes.

The ARTBA center report says that since 2010, voters in 44 states have approved 85% of the approximately 3,000 transportation revenue ballot measures. Including the 2022 initiatives, the cumulative total raised is estimated at $342 billion.

APTA said that counting measures approved earlier this year, it notched 29 wins out of 36 transit-related ballot measures in 2022, an 80% success rate.

Josh Cohen, executive director of APTA's Center for Transportation Excellence, said in a statement, "For years, the public's support for transit has been on a roll and 2022 is no different."

APTA also noted, however, that several measures were not approved, including sales tax proposals in Madera County, Calif., Hillsborough County, Fla., and Orange County, Fla.

ARTBA and APTA noted that the revenue raised by measures that were approved will help localities with nonfederal matching requirements of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.