State Sen. Jim Rosapepe should be applauded for his statement on transportation funding ("Put transportation in voters' hands," April 11). Identifying funding streams for transportation investments is a national political debate. Many understand the extraordinary need to invest in rebuilding our transportation infrastructure, but no one has taken the initiative to Senator Rosapepe's level. It will take a great amount of political courage to achieve his vision.
Three thoughts came to mind in response to his column.
First, through local and regional transit referenda, citizens across the country have voted for specific types of tax increases to invest more in transportation and public transit projects. More than 300 local or regional transit measures were put on the ballot between 2000 and 2010 with an average approval rate of 70 percent. Many were held not in the typical Northeast region but in states such as North Carolina, Michigan and Texas. These figures show that, clearly, Americans are willing to pay for improved transportation systems, especially transit.