Tax Initiative Which Could Net Nearly $900 Million Per Year Approved for November

A Gold Line train runs during the testing phase at the Azusa Downtown Station. Photo by Aaron Castrejon.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved last week to place Metro’s gargantuan transportation tax initiative on the November 8 ballot.

Metro believes the measure, which includes a 40-year expenditure plan, could generate $860 million a year in 2017 dollars.

The Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan would establish a new tax to begin in 2017, which would increase to one cent in 2039 when the extended Measure R half-cent sales tax would expire. The new tax would go on indefinitely until voters repeal it, or if the Metro Board sponsors a measure to end it.

The measure would help Metro expand light rail and bus service, ease traffic congestion with highway improvement projects, better connect bike paths with public transit facilities, maintain low fares for students and seniors and allow for maintenance of the current transportation system.

Read More On Metro’s Transportation Improvement Plans

Locally, the measure would fund the Gold Line from Azusa to Claremont, close the State Route 71 freeway gap to the Interstate 10 freeway, allow interchange improvements at the State Route 57 and 60 freeways, add improvements and HOV direct connectors to the Interstate 605 and 10 freeway interchange.

Ground breaking for the Gold Line Foothill Extension to Claremont would begin by 2019.

Glendora Mayor Gene Murabito spoke at the Board of Supervisors meeting, addressing the board in his capacity as President of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments. He overwhelmingly supported approval of the measure.

“Today, our region has some of the worst traffic jams and smog in the country. We must act now to improve our mobility, our air quality and our regional economy by implementing the projects and programs in the expenditure plan,” Murabito said.

The Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan could generate more than 465,000 and $79.3 billion in economic output in the first 50 years of implementation, according to estimates by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.