Metro’s transportation sales tax to support discounted fares, road repairs, bike lanes and better freeways flow. Metro’s proposed transportation sales tax ballot gains public support.
Following three months of public review and input that included public meetings and Telephone Town Halls that reached tens of thousands of L.A. County residents, a new poll shows that 72 percent of those surveyed would vote for a transportation sale tax measure with a sustained funding approach.
In a recent telephone survey conducted between May 20 and June 1 phone interviews were done with 2,125 Los Angeles County residents likely to vote in the November election, including new registrants.
Key findings showed that there were no statistically meaningful differences between a 50-year sales tax measure and a sustained “no-sunset” measure among those surveyed and initial support, after hearing just the ballot title and summary, was within the margin of error for passage. The polling also showed that after educational outreach, support increased above the two-thirds threshold needed for passage.
“These numbers are encouraging and show a strong desire of those surveyed to build and sustain a world-class transportation system here in Los Angeles County,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington.
When asking about the various benefits that the plan would deliver, the strongest support focused on providing transportation options for an aging County population. The survey showed that 73 percent of respondents expressed a desire to keep senior, disabled and student fares affordable. Another top reason respondents would support the plan is its ability to create jobs, which also drew 73 percent favorability. Repairing potholes was supported by 70 percent of those surveyed with 69 percent supporting earthquake retrofitting of bridges and 67 percent wanting to improve the flow of freeway traffic as the most important features of the proposed ballot measure.
The proposed ballot measure is called the Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan after the title tested best among several suggested options. The plan would devote billions of dollars to pay for and accelerate a wide variety of transit, highway, pedestrian and bike paths. It would also provide billions of dollars to commuter rail, transit operations and projects to keep buses, trains and facilities in good repair. The plan would return revenues to local cities on a per capita basis that could be spent on local transportation improvements like street repairs and fixing potholes. Broken down by sub-regions, the polling shows that in the central part of Los Angeles County, 77 percent support the measure.
In the San Fernando Valley, 70 percent of those surveyed would be more inclined or somewhat inclined to vote for the measure compared to 70 percent in the South Bay and 68 percent on the Westside. In Southeast L.A. County, 68 percent of respondents supported the measure with 65 percent of San Gabriel Valley voters inclined to vote yes and 63 percent of North County voters saying they too would vote for the measure.
Support for Metro’s ballot measure did not appear to be adversely affected by its placement among other L.A. County measures under consideration for the November ballot.
The foundation of the plan included a host of transportation improvements projects submitted by stakeholders across the county. Metro staff evaluated those projects against key performance metrics to determine how they would ease congestion and enhance mobility, provide better access to key destinations, improve safety, grow the local economy and enhance quality of life.
The new survey was conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz and Associates, a public opinion research and strategy group under contract to Metro.
The new revised Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan is available at www.metro.net/theplan. The agency’s Board of Directors is scheduled to decide at their June 23 meeting whether to plan the plan before the voters of Los Angeles County in November.
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