Los Angeles County residents approved a tax increase to fund an expansive traffic improvement plan in Los Angeles County by voting in support of Measure M.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, 70 percent of Los Angeles County voters supported the Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has been outspoken about his support for Measure M, spoke at a news conference Wednesday with other leaders behind the measure about its passage.
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"70 percent of this county said 'we are sick and tired of traffic, and we're going to do something about it,' and last night they helped us pass Measure M," Garcetti said Wednesday. "Measure M will make it easier for us to have a better quality of life here in Los Angeles County."
Measure M hopes to accomplish an extensive project list filled with plans that include improving traffic flow and reducing bottlenecks, expanding the county's "rail and rapid transit systems," repairing streets and earthquake-retrofitting bridges, according to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
With the approval of a half-cent sales tax increase and the continuation of a half-cent traffic relief tax, the measure is expected to generate about $860 million in 2017.
The rate of that tax will increase on July 1, 2039 to 1 cent when a half-cent tax approved by Measure R in 2008 expires.
Money that is generated by the tax will be dedicated to varying areas on the plan's project list. Some $29.9 billion will be allotted to bus and rail operations, $22.5 billion to local street improvements, $2.4 billion to programs for students seniors and the disabled, and $1.9 billion to the Metrolink system, according to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Projects described in the measure, including an expansion of the Metrolink system, will be built over a 40-year period, according to the LA County Metropolitan Transit Authority.
The Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan will also create 465,690 new jobs, "based on the latest economic forecast by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation," the measure's information guide states.
The half cent sales tax will be implemented starting on July 1, 2017.