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Metro advances goals following Measure M


Transit expansion, infrastructure repair

Metro has successfully advanced goals such as transit expansion, infrastructure repair and congestion management that were included in the Measure M transportation sales tax measure approved by voters in 2016, according to a report released today by the transit agency.

The 189-page report provides an overview of Measure M, which was approved by over 70% county voters in 2016, and analyzes the use of tax-generated funds from July 2017 through June 2022. The report concluded that overall, Metro has advanced projects, programs and services that address many of Measure M goals, particularly around congestion management, transit expansion, local infrastructure repair and efforts to improve safety and affordability.

“I applaud Metro for its progress on these goals and for leading initiatives that are making public transportation more accessible, convenient and affordable,’’ Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Karen Bass said in a statement.

She highlighted Metro’s GoPass and Low Income Fare is Easy (LIFE) programs, which offer discounted rides for K-12 and community college students, riders who are income-eligible and riders with disabilities.

“Metro is demonstrating its strong commitment to creating a world-class transportation system through these programs and its progress toward its goals,’’ Bass added.

According to Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins, when voters approved Measure M, they declared their intention to “remake our region into a more equitable, multimodal, accessible and economically prosperous place where the mobility benefits of transportation projects reached every corner of the county.’’

Wiggins recognized that the last five years have been tumultuous due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Metro continues to “deliver on our promises’’ to voters.

Measure M outlined funding for programs and major projects, mapping a 40-year forecast to advance its goals such as addressing congestion; expanding rail and rapid systems; repaving and improving local streets; embracing technology; creating jobs; and making public transportation more accessible and affordable.

Earlier this month, the Measure M Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee met and unanimously voted to accept the findings and recommendation of the five-year assessment and equity report.

The committee is a panel of residents charged with ensuring sales tax revenues are spent as intended. The assessment reviewed the projects and programs funded by Measure M, evaluated the program for its effectiveness and made a series of recommendations as Metro continues to implement the measure.

The assessment period of the report was marked by the pandemic, which changed the way people approach health, work and travel–and by extension the values and patterns of the transportation industry.

According to Metro, the report reflects that the agency has made “difficult course adjustments,’’ while increasing its focus on equity and customer experience.

Measure M imposed a permanent half-cent sales tax in Los Angeles County for transportation projects, and permanently extended an existing half-cent tax.