Transit Referenda and Funding Options Bonds Versus Taxes

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, economics - appraisal/evaluation, economics - willingness to pay, economics - pricing


transit, tax based, bond based, funding


Transit is an integral part of a sustainable transportation system in any region. Proposals for transit initiatives that are brought to referenda include a funding vehicle, either tax based or bond based. A tax-funded proposal imposes the cost on the present generation of residents, whereas a bond-funded proposal delays the burden to future generations. The aim is to investigate whether the success of proposals in referenda is related to the use of taxes or bonds for funding. This question is investigated with the use of data from 111 transit referenda held in the United States from 1999 to 2007. It was found that proposals that use taxes for funding are less likely to pass than those that use bonds.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by TRB, copyright remains with them.