LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority could ask voters to approve an additional half-cent sales tax in addition to extending the time frame for one passed in 2008 to fund $120 billion of transportation projects.
LA Metro's board approved Thursday the release of a draft expenditure plan for public review that would be funded by the proposed 40-year half-cent sales tax and an 18-year extension of the existing Measure R half cent sales tax. If the board moves forward, the sales tax increases would run through 2057.
"This is an ambitious, bold and desperately needed proposal that would finally deliver the comprehensive, interconnected transit network LA County needs," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
The board would vote at its June meeting whether to put the measure on November's ballot – or an alternative scenario presented by Metro staff in which the tax increases extend 45 or 50 years.
The money would be used to complete 40 years of projects including the build-out of the city's rail system, highway projects, local roadway improvements and pedestrian and bike paths.
The existing Measure R, now set to expire in 2039, brings in $38 billion in its current form.
The $120 billion proposal adds new projects including a rail line to connect with Los Angeles International Airport's planned people mover and an extension of the San Fernando Valley's Orange line to the northeast. It would also speed up plans for a subway extending the Purple Line to Westwood and adds a tunnel through Sepulveda Pass for a rapid bus line or light rail project. Highway projects would include adding truck lanes on the I-710 freeway and new lanes for the 71 freeway.
"Staff has worked hard at developing a plan that delivers much-needed projects in all areas of the region," Metro CEO Phillip Washington said in a prepared statement.
Metro staff has spent the past few months evaluating projects proposed by stakeholders across the county against performance metrics in order to select those most likely to have an impact on traffic congestion, Washington said.
The projects would increase transit boardings by 80 million per year and reduce vehicle miles traveled by nearly 5 million daily, according to LA Metro's report.