As our newsletter previously announced, Metro is contemplating another ballot measure to both expedite Measure R-funded projects and construct entirely new ones. Considering that the last attempt to extend Measure R, in 2012, failed at the polls by the thinnest of margins, Metro is hoping that voters will favor a new and distinct measure that is more inclusive of the county’s transportation needs. The new measure could increase the county sales tax instead of extending the one enacted under Measure R. The agency’s Planning and Programming Committee recommended that the Metro Board bring the matter to voters in 2016, rather than 2014, so that the public can better vet the possible measure and officials from across the county can suggest projects not currently funded under Measure R.
In tune with this development, Transit Coalition Chair Ken Alpern lists the 10 things he hopes to see in the new year. Alpern notes that Metro must communicate effectively to prospective voters and allow for greater transparency in its dealings in order to gain the trust of the public. Alpern also advocates that state and federal legislators representing Southern California be more aggressive in bringing home matching funds to turn local transportation projects from fantasy to reality. The Transit Coalition will keep tabs on this developing proposal and offer its own ideas as to how Metro can best use the funds garnered from this measure with regards to public transportation.