Art of Transit or Whatever:
Smile! It’s not Monday anymore. Photo by Steve Hymon.
Metro seeks permanent transit tax to raise billions to fix gridlock (Daily News et al)
Metro CEO announces revised November sales tax proposal (Streetsblog LA)
Metro revises potential transit ballot initiative (Urbanize.LA)
L.A. Metro wants sales tax hike to last forever (Curbed LA)
Only one of the five above headlines used ‘forever’ — the over/under was at least three!
All the above articles are good roundups of the revised spending plan Metro released Friday for its potential ballot measure that seeks to raise the countywide sales tax by a half-cent and extend the Measure R half-cent sales tax beyond its mid-2039 expiration. The Metro Board is scheduled to consider putting it on the November ballot at their June 23 meeting.
The original plan released in March was for 40 years with options for longer scenarios, whereas the revision dropped expiration dates. Of course, it’s worth noting that two half-cent sales taxes approved by L.A. County voters in 1980 and ’90 (Prop A and Prop C, respectively) also have no expiration dates. They stay on the books until voters decide to end them. Measure R, approved by county voters in 2008, was a 30-year tax that began July 1, 2009, and is set to end on June 30, 2039.
This page on metro.net shows how Props A and C and Measure R are used. I think it’s worth noting: that all three taxes only make so much money available for construction of new projects and agencies such as Metro use these kind of taxes because the agency is not allowed to run budget deficits to fund big projects. I’m sure some folks will say three taxes is enough, whereas other folks would say Props A and C and Measure R helped get Metro from zero miles of rail prior to 1990 to the 105 miles that we have today — a number that doesn’t include the three projects under construction (the 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX Line, the 3.9-mile first section of the Purple Line subway extension and the 1.9-mile Regional Connector to link the Blue, Expo and Gold Lines).
If the potential ballot measures makes it to voters, it would need two-thirds approval to pass. That is always a tough hurdle. The LAT and Daily News articles look at some potential supporters and opponents and what they like and don’t like.
Big Blue Bus launching cab service for Expo’s 17th St/SMC Station (SaMo Daily Press)
This is smart. The $3 cab rides have to begin/end at the station and must be within the above zone. The cab runs from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. See the story at above link for more details.
Definitely read this — I think it accurately describes where L.A. is, where L.A. was and where L.A. may be going. Excerpt:
What is the Third Los Angeles?
Essentially it’s a shorthand, a way of describing the new civic identity that Los Angeles is working, and often struggling, to establish.
It’s a way of suggesting that many of the most stubborn cliches and stereotypes about L.A. and Southern California are crumbling or being held up for new scrutiny. Increasingly the city and region are taking real, measurable and often controversial steps to move past the building blocks of post-war Los Angeles, including the private car, the freeway, the single-family house and the lawn.
Some are convinced the app is to blame for more cut-through traffic. But transportation officials in the city of L.A. are not convinced, saying there may be other factors. Either way, who cares — people are seeking shortcuts because some of the arterials are so clogged up with traffic.
Can a high-speed rail line be built from Rochester to the Twin Cities without any public money? (MinnPost)
Almost certainly not, but some so-called investors and rail backers can convince a journalist to write a long story about it anyway.