All Aboard Measure J

Gary Toebben

October 30, 2012
We're speeding toward the future on transportation improvements in L.A. County. The opening of the Orange Line extension to Chatsworth, the construction of the Expo Line to Santa Monica, the Gold Line extension to Azusa, the Crenshaw Transit Corridor project and truck lanes on Interstate 5. Without the passage of Measure R in 2008, none of these projects would have happened as quickly. L.A. County voters passed Measure R to authorize a half-cent sales tax to fund $40 billion in transit and highway projects to relieve congestion, create jobs and improve the environment over 30 years. 

Progress has been remarkable. Coupling Measure R with America Fast Forward funding to expedite those 30 years worth of projects into a shorter time frame has made Los Angeles a national model of a self-help county that is recognized as a "serious mass transit contender."  Measure J, which is on the ballot a week from today, seeks to continue this momentum by extending the Measure R sales tax an additional 30 years. Doing so will allow Metro to borrow money on the bond market while interest rates are at historic lows, and construction bids are coming in below estimates.   

Measure J is a good business decision and a win for taxpayers in every way. Business knows the expense of traffic gridlock, which keeps employees away from their jobs and families, and causes costly delays in the movement of goods. Without increasing taxes, Measure J will speed up congestion relief in every part of the county for generations. As the Los Angeles Times notes in its endorsement, "light rail lines are expected to last 100 years; future generations will be driving the highways and riding the rails being built now." This is not a raid on our children's future, but an investment in it. 

L.A. County today has 300,000 fewer jobs than it did at the start of the Great Recession. And 30 percent of our construction workers are still unemployed. Measure J will accelerate the creation of thousands of new jobs when our economy needs a major boost.     

We have a unique opportunity on Nov. 6 to build a transportation system for ourselves and for our children at a price that will never be lower. With the passage of Measure J, we will further accelerate 15 projects including the extension of the Green Line to LAX, the Gold Line east, the Westside subway and many highway and interchange improvements throughout the County.   

Vote yes on Measure J for traffic relief, jobs and the future on Nov. 6. 

And that's The Business Perspective

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