The importance of GOTV for rail transit initiatives – a lesson in land use politics

The Saint Reportsaintblog, TransportationLeave a Comment

By Owen Eagan and Alan Wulkan
metroRail transit has become increasingly popular as people in major cities continue to seek ways of reducing traffic and protecting the environment. For example, a ballot initiative authorizing rail transit in Honolulu recently passed as voters sought relief from some of the worst traffic in the nation. The measure passed by a margin of 53% to 47% in light of a well organized opposition campaign. The final vote was 155,880 in favor to 140,623 opposed – a difference of 15,257 votes.

This was a hard fought campaign, with residents bombarded by the scare tactics of opponents claiming that a vote for the measure was a vote for higher taxes and a give-away for developers which in both cases was not true. This was an especially effective message during the current economic climate and myriad financial crises. Nevertheless, the campaign on behalf of the rail transit measure stayed focused on our message, which centered on reducing traffic congestion, protecting the environment, and promoting smart growth and economic development.

This article appears in the June issue of Metro Magazine. See, pages 62 & 63 or read here Download The Importance of GOTV for Rail Transit Initiatives

Owen Eagan leads transportation projects for The Saint Consulting Group, email

Alan Wulkan is a partner with InfraConsult who specializes in transit initiatives. For more information see or

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