text only


What's Happening?

Light Rail Transit
What is it?

Road Myths

Light Rail Progress

Join us
Register for e-list

Austin Community
Light Rail

Austin Light Rail Proposals
Austin Home Page
Where will it run?The issues
Voter registrationProfiles
En cuestion

Vote Yes Nov. 7


The News...

Austin light rail defeated narrowly, but approved by Austin voters

Austin light rail defeated narrowly, but approved by Austin voters

While Capital Metro's light rail proposal was defeated this past November (7 November 2000) by an extremely slim margin of slightly more than 2000 votes, it was nevertheless PASSED by a MAJORITY of Austin voters. 50.6% of voters within the City of Austin actually voted in FAVOR of Capital Metro's light rail plan.

Furthermore, support for light rail was even stronger along the proposed routes in precincts within a half-mile of the starter system routes, 57.3% voted FOR light rail and 55.9% within a half-mile of the entire 52-mile system voted in favor.

Obviously there is widespread community support for light rail. Light rail supporters argue that there is a clear MANDATE for proceeding with light rail, even if initially within the City of Austin or in a somewhat scaled-down form.

More than 25 years and millions of dollars of planning have identified light rail as the most cost-effective choice for quality, high-capacity transit in Austin. This investment should not be discarded, leaving the Austin area's future mobility in greater jeopardy.

On 11 December, the Capital Metro board voted to continue to move forward with the Preliminary Engineering-Environmental impact Study for the light rail plan. Finishing the study was encouraged by Austin Mayor Kirk Watson, State Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, and several environmental, business and transportation planning officials, as well as "dozens of Austin residents", according to the Austin American-Statesman. [9 Dec. 2000] The Federal Transit Administration, which paid 80 percent of the cost of the study, also gave Capital Metro a green light to continue the work.

The Capital Metro board also voted to approve new options for using about $69.5 million through 2003 on transportation projects other than rail. This was applauded by the American-Statesman, which noted editorially that "... Capital Metro's board must show good faith in acknowledging the election defeat by reassigning some of its penny sales-tax revenues." [1 Jan. 2001] As the Statesman reported,

Already the board has said it would return a quarter-cent of the sales tax to the communities in its service area for specific transportation projects, such as sidewalks or street improvements. That amounts to about $33 million available to communities in this fiscal year that ends in September. The board also is re-emphasizing its commitment to provide $91 million to regional transportation funding.

Clearly, a majority of Austinites want light rail, and approximately half of the population in Capital Metro's service area. Their wishes must not be ignored.





contact get involved features vote news about us home contact get involved news about us Light Rail Now! Home