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Hollywood & Highland Metro station
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Funds for Metro's expansion might be in the hands of South Bay voters

Brittany Martin

You might not want to start planning your commute around all those new upgraded and expanded Metro developments just yet. The half-cent sales tax that would pay for them still has to be approved by voters and, while polls indicate that most of central and westside Angelenos are on board, there’s a group of folks who aren’t quite as jazzed to approve Measure M. 

Local government leaders in Torrance, Signal Hill, Carson and the South Bay Cities Council of Governments have all come out against the measure, the LA Times reports. They are concerned that the southern portion of the county is not getting as much attention in the development plans—and not fast enough.

One of the major complaints is that an extension of the Green Line from Redondo Beach to Torrance isn’t scheduled to begin construction until at least 2026, while other areas will see new stations and lines sooner. Measure M dissenters would also like Metro to allocate more cash to their transportation priorities, like repairing South Bay streets.

The Yes on M campaign has responded to the complaints by saying their plan does include investment in roads, freeways and public transit initiatives in the south and that an expanded transit infrastructure helps connect and alleviate traffic for all residents of the region.

Measures like this tend to pass only by slim margins, when they do at all, and this pushback could be enough to kill the initiative—and it wouldn’t be for the first time. In 2012, a similar ballot measure failed on Election Day by less than a single percent, with most of the 'no' votes coming from the very region now campaigning against M. 

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