Op-Ed: Putting L.A. Transit in the Fast Lane

LABJ

Op-Ed from Supervisor Ridley-Thomas in the Los Angeles Business Journal:

Los Angeles County voters agreed in 2008 to raise sales taxes to fund massive upgrades in transportation. The benefit of that ballot initiative – dubbed Measure R – was clear: Construction jobs would multiply and businesses would flourish along new rail lines as well as highways and Los Angeles County would see $40 billion in transportation projects across the region over a 30-year period.

Measure R’s overwhelming passage was a public vote of confidence in transportation investments. Now it’s time to give the public a quicker and more potent return on its investment. We have an opportunity to embrace the 30/10 Infrastructure Sustainability Initiative introduced and championed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and his team.

The 30/10 proposal is a way to achieve 30 years of transportation improvements in 10 years. Rather than waiting a generation for economic and quality-of-life gains to materialize, 30/10 would allow us to reap benefits in a decade.

By borrowing money to accelerate transportation projects, 30/10 could provide an extra 20 years of reduced car traffic and emissions, while jump-starting the economy in a time of great need.

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