In late 2011, we learned that Santa Fe Trails, our local bus system, had lost $2 million in federal funding. At the same time, our city council was considering what projects to include in a Capital Improvements Projects(CIP) bond package. We knew that this presented an opportunity to continue to build support for public transportation through the bond process.
We mobilized members and successfully pressured city councilors to include $2 million to replace the lost federal transit funding in the bond proposal. We were also able to secure $250,000 for new bicycle infrastructure in the package. Chainbreaker members met with elected officials, generated phone calls, and packed the room on the night of the vote. After dozens of Chainbreaker members gave passionate testimonies showing support for public transportation, the bond passed by a 6 to 2 vote. This was the first time in Santa Fe’s history that money for transit was included in a CIP bond.
This effectively eliminated a potential funding gap and circumvented any discussions of cuts to transit during the 2012 budget cycle.