Measure M: The Transportation Investment LA Deserves

Mary Leslie
President, Los Angeles Business Council
09/08/2016 08:44 am ET Updated Sep 09, 2017

The Los Angeles Business Council strongly supports the passage of Measure M, which would add a half-cent sales tax for transportation investments and extend the lifespan of Measure R, which we endorsed early and enthusiastically in 2009.

Investing in a modern transportation network will make our region more economically competitive. Today, we pay a heavy cost for traffic congestion in the form of lost time and productivity. Gridlock also reduces the quality of life and impedes L.A.’s ability to attract and retain job-creating businesses.

Years of research by LABC has found a growing gap between rising housing prices and family incomes, resulting in many workers moving farther way from job centers, enduring longer and more arduous commutes or forcing them to leave the region altogether. Los Angeles County cannot address the jobs/housing imbalance without seriously investing in a public transit system that works, which is why passage of Measure M in November is so important.

The passage of Measure R puts many vital transportation projects on the fast-track, including the expansion of critical rail and road projects. That decision by Los Angeles voters also resulted in the creation of new transit-oriented development that spurred economic activity throughout the region, including the addition of critically-needed workforce housing affordable to low- and moderate-income residents. Now, in 2016, we need to sustain this momentum to make our region more livable and help businesses thrive, while also anticipating the increasing burdens of a rapidly growing population on our transportation infrastructure.

Measure M provides a long-term, sustainable funding mechanism to invest in filling the gaps in our region’s transportation system, unclogging our roadways, and helping us meet Los Angeles’ long-term infrastructure needs. In doing so, Measure M will enhance our attractiveness to employers looking to expand or relocate here, while enhancing the quality of life for all Angelenos. We see Measure M as an imperative for the region.