A big week for America Fast Forward
Two key decisions happened this week:
- On Thursday, the Metro Los Angeles Board voted to place Measure R+ on the November ballot in Los Angeles County. The California State Senate and Governor Brown still need to affirm the same, but this is a critical step in extending the Measure R 0.5% sales tax until 2069. Read more at la.streetsblog.org
- Today (Friday), the U.S. Congress passed a two-year transportation bill. While this bill leaves a lot to be desired for walking and biking, it expands the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA), which Los Angeles Metro can use to accelerate Measure R projects. According to Metro’s staff report, Metro the TIFIA expansion allows Metro to obtain 49% of project funding at 2.73%. The expansion also allows 35-year loans, so extending Measure R beyond 2039 gives Metro more tax receipts to borrow against.
The combination of these two events means that Los Angeles is well on its way to building 30 years worth of transit by 2022. Even if Measure R+ doesn’t pass in November, TIFIA means project acceleration. However, Measure R+ will mean more projects accelerated, and the potential for additional projects not in the original Measure R expenditure plan.