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Rail News: Financials

L.A. Metro unveils transportation projects for $120 billion sales tax measure


The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) late last week released a list of transportation projects that could be funded by a proposed sales tax increase being considered for a November ballot measure.

The measure would ask voters to increase the countywide sales tax by a half cent for 40 years and to continue the existing Measure R half-cent tax for an additional 18 years, meaning both would run through 2057.

If approved, the tax would raise more than $120 billion for transportation improvements in the region, Metro officials said in a press release. About 35 percent of those funds would go to rail and bus transit projects.

For comparison, the Measure R half-cent sales tax approved in 2008 is projected to raise $35 billion to $40 billion over its 30-year lifespan, agency officials noted.

Specific rail projects include:
• building a rail station where Crenshaw/LAX Line riders will transfer to a future people mover system that will serve Los Angeles International Airport terminals;
• extending the Purple Line subway to L.A.'s Westwood neighborhood;
• building a light-rail line between Artesia, Calif., and the Green Line in South Gate, Calif; and
• extending the Gold Line from Azusa, Calif., to Claremont, Calif.

"As L.A. Metro plans for future growth and transportation needs, it is imperative that we look at all mechanisms at our disposal to ensure the region’s mobility needs are met," said Metro Chief Executive Officer Phillip Washington. "Working with our community stakeholders, this expenditure plan brings us a step closer in defining what projects are needed and where the funding could come from to complete those projects."

Metro's board will have the final say on what's included in the plan and whether to put it before L.A. County voters, agency officials said. That decision will follow an "aggressive" outreach and public review period this month through May.

A complete list of the projects can be found here.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/21/2016