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Rail News: Financials

L.A. Metro unveils plan to accelerate transportation projects

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Chief Executive Officer Phillip Washington late last week unveiled a revised expenditure plan that could accelerate nine various projects that would be funded under a potential sales tax increase.

In March, agency staff presented a 40-year draft plan that would ask voters to increase the countywide sales tax by a half cent and to continue the existing Measure R tax for 18 years, meaning both would run through 2057. However, Washington's new plan would extend the taxes indefinitely in order to accelerate the projects and add new ones, according to a Metro news release.

Known as the Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan, the new funding strategy would also enable the agency to build the Eastside Gold Line Extension to both South El Monte and Whittier, Calif.

The Crenshaw/LAX rail line expansion would be accelerated by eight years under the revised plan.

"Working with our community stakeholders, this updated plan brings us a step closer in defining what projects are needed and where a sustained level of funding could come from to accelerate and complete those projects," said Washington.

The plan would also dedicate billions of dollars to commuter-rail, transit operations and projects aimed at keeping trains, buses and facilities in good repair.

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More News from 6/13/2016