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Possible Speedier Finish Times For 7 Rail Lines as Transpo Tax Extension Moves Ahead

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Big day at the Metro board meeting--after approving a team for the Union Station master plan, the board voted to push for an extension of the Measure R half-cent sales tax, which would help speed up the building of a whole bunch of rail lines. Right now, the Measure R tax (as approved in 2008) runs until 2039 and covers 12 lines; the board voted for an option that would extend that another 30 years. What Metro hopes to do is borrow against the future tax revenue and build several projects faster than current plans call for. But the extension is hardly a sure thing: first it'll have to be passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor, then it'll have to go on the ballot for a County-wide vote (Metro hopes to get it on the November ballot, when there'll be high turnout for the presidential election). Here are the lines that could be sped up under Measure R2, according to The Source:

-- the Purple Line Extension to the West LA VA
-- the Gold Line Eastside Extension to South El Monte or Whittier
-- the LAX link-up
-- the Green Line South Bay Extension to Torrance
-- the West Santa Ana Branch Corridor project
-- the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor project

The Regional Connector, a small project Downtown that will link up the Blue, Gold, and Expo Lines for much simpler rides throughout the County, would also get some funding.

And more potentially good news: Congress has just hammered out a transportation bill that includes "an expanded federal TIFIA low-interest loan program," i.e. America Fast Forward, which would allow LA to borrow from the federal government to pay for public transit.
· Metro Board votes 10-3 to ask county voters to extend Measure R sales tax to 2069 [The Source]
· Metro Moving Ahead With Measure R Extension to Speed Up All Kinds of Juicy Transit [Curbed LA]