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Vote Against Repeal - Charlotte, NC - November 6, 2007


Q: What has the transit tax done for our community?

A: There have been numerous improvements to our transit system which have greatly benefited the community. These improvements have included adding over 400 new buses, 3 new transit centers, 4 new park-and-ride lots, over 200 new bus shelters and nearly 80 benches at bus stops. Additionally, the bus fleet is now 100% wheelchair-accessible, a huge advantage for our disabled and elderly population.

The results of these and other improvements have included increasing overall ridership by 67%, decreasing preventable accidents by 53%, and reducing administrative overhead costs by 51% — at the same time, the cost per hour of revenue service for the transit system has only increased by 1.4%.

These improvements have helped in our fight to reduce congestion and improve air quality, while providing a safe and reliable system to those of us who are dependent on transit, and an efficient transportation alternative for those of us not dependent upon transit.

Q: How much of the transit tax is actually improving the bus system? I'm afraid the money is all going to be spent on rail.

A: 71% of the transit tax revenue is allocated to the bus system, with 14% for rail and 15% for other transit improvements. No rail system can efficiently operate without working in tandem with a solid bus system — just like an urban freeway system doesn't work without local streets. The bus system does now and will continue to benefit greatly from the transit tax.

Q: What will happen if the transit tax is repealed?

A: Eliminating the transit tax will have significant and far-reaching effects on many different elements of our quality of life. First, very difficult decisions will need to be made about what to do with our existing, improved transit system. Existing routes may be dramatically reduced and future high capacity transit eliminated.

Transit will have to be funded from other sources, for example, through increased property taxes.

Many planned projects will have to be scrapped for lack of funding. Services currently provided through General Fund resource may need to be cut in order to transfer monies to help pay for transit.

We would lose a valuable tool in our efforts to reduce congestion and improve air quality, and repeal would jeopardize the City's AAA credit rating, making it difficult for the city to issue bonds.

The City would take a huge step back in its ability to grow economically and to favorably compete with other peer cities.

Q: I don't ride transit now and don't plan to in the future. Why is this important to me?

A: The facts are that Charlotte is currently the second most-congested city of its size in America. Congestion is a critical issue in Charlotte and effective public transportation can have a significant impact in reducing congestion and its resultant problems, e.g., decreased productivity, decreased family/personal time, and poor air quality. We cannot "pave" our way out of congestion problems.

With fuel costs rising, it does not make sense to ignore the positive benefits of a good transit system. Transit offers all of us mobility choices and greatly increases quality of life for those of us who are unable/unwilling to drive a car.

NO NEW TAXES are involved in continuing what the transit tax started back in 1998: improving our public transportation system to improve our economic vitality and quality of life.

If the tax is repealed, property taxes will need to be increased and General Fund monies reallocated, potentially impacting other programs and services currently relying on General Funds.



VOTE AGAINST REPEAL - Copyright 2007 - Paid for by the Committee to Defeat Repeal