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Mendocino Transit Authority

Proposition 69: What You Need to Know Before the June 5 Vote




Are You Voting on June 5? Proposition 69 Is Important to MTA and Our Customers

Proposition 69 will be on the June 5 state ballot, and our customers and Mendocino County residents will have a chance to vote on it.

MTA put together information here to help you understand why public transit in rural counties likes ours is important, and how Proposition 69 might impact Mendocino County.

 

First, What is Proposition 69?

MTA’s Route 7 jitney offers quick trips across town in Ukiah.

Prop 69 is a constitutional ballot measure that protects all taxes and fees that citizens already pay into the state transportation budget. It ensures that money collected can only be spent to make road safety improvements, fill potholes, repair local streets, freeways and bridges, and invested in public transit, bike and pedestrian paths. Right now, only 60% of transportation funds are protected from being borrowed or diverted by the state Legislature to be spent on other priorities.

 

Why is Prop 69 on the June 5 Ballot?

Last year, California legislators passed SB1, which raises $5 billion a year through gas taxes and vehicle registration fees to improve transportation infrastructure in California over the next decade.  Whether or not you support SB1, Prop 69 simply safeguards ALL of those new funds and requires they be spent for transportation improvements only.

 

How Does Prop 69 Impact Rural Public Transit Agencies Like MTA?

According to the California Transit Association, new tax and fee revenue will provide an additional $750 million to support public transit in California if no funds are diverted. Some of that money will support rural bus transit improvements.

Strong rural bus transit companies like MTA are important. Here is a summary of key points made in a 2017 report, Public Transit’s Impact on Rural and Small Towns, by the American Public Transportation Association.

 

  • Dori Rowlette no longer drives, so she gets around on the MTA bus

    Rural demographics show that public bus transit is important to older Americans, who make up a larger portion of rural populations (17%) than in urban populations (13%).

 

  • Rural residents with disabilities rely on public transit. They take 50% more public transit trips that non-impaired people do.

 

  • Rural public transit helps veterans get access to services, and 33% of the veteran population enrolled in the VA health care system lives in rural areas.

 

  • Rural residents travel 33% more than urban residents do, and though rural areas claim just 19% of the population, they account for 49% of traffic fatalities. Public transit can reduce that risk.

 

  • Jessica Flowers is headed to Mendocino College. MTA and the college offer free rides to students.

    Rural poverty rates are higher than in urban areas everywhere. Rural public transit helps households and students save money.

 

  • Rural public transit supports the local economy by connecting residents who don’t drive to shopping and jobs.

 

If you would like to learn more about Proposition 69 before the June 5 vote, here is a website that provides more information:

https://yesprop69.com/get-the-facts/