LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Public transportation in Los Angeles County could be transformed over the next half-century through a new measure that Metro wants on the November ballot.
The agency says it will release the plan next week, and declined to comment on specifics.
The plan is reportedly looking at extending or building 10 light-rail lines in the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys, Southeast LA County, Orange County, the South Bay and the Westside.
Even more significant, however, are the reports that Metro wants a new freeway tunnel under the 405 in the Sepulveda Pass.
The new tunnel could include a rail-line and tollway, something drivers battling rush-hour traffic on Friday say they would appreciate.
“It will be a very great convenience for all the drivers passing through the 405. It’s a nightmare; it is really a nightmare,” Marie Meneses said.
Voters will be asked to extend an existing half-cent sales tax for two more decades and raise the county’s sales-tax rate by an additional half-cent for at least four more decades.
If approved, Metro would generate $120 billion.
“If it’s going to speed up traffic it’s going to help people get home faster, might as well,” Matthew Cortes said.
Critics of the proposal say it could be a disaster for an agency that sometimes struggles to stay under budget.
The 405 freeway-widening was finished years behind schedule, and despite major investments over the past decade, ridership on buses and trains has dropped.