What is Measure J?
Measure J accelerates traffic relief, job creation and economic growth in Los Angeles County by accelerating planned highway and transit projects so that construction will begin within five years, instead of 20, and be completed in about a decade.
The longer revenue stream will also provide 60 years of funding to all 88 cities and unincorporated areas of LA County for local traffic relief projects. And it provides the funding needed to enable Metro to keep bus and rail fares low for seniors, students, and people who are disabled.
All funds will remain in LA County, with independent audits and oversight by a panel of retired judges, and full public review available on the internet and in public libraries.
Measure J Creates Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs
Measure J addresses LA County’s high unemployment rate by accelerating the construction of traffic relief projects that create 400,000 jobs. Measure J would also accelerate creation of 250,000 of these jobs over the next decade by starting construction of up to eight highway projects and seven transit projects in the next five years. These job figures were provided by the private nonprofit Los Angeles County Economic Development Commission (LAEDC), which recently issued a new report that estimates an additional 220,000 jobs will be created by Measure J funding for bus and rail operations and for local traffic relief improvements that include filling potholes and other improvements to congested and deteriorating streets and sidewalks.
The Measure J sales tax is forecast to generate approximately $126 billion of new revenue over 60 years for major new investment in LA County’s transit and highway systems, making it a powerful economic driver. Much of the economic impact, according to the LAEDC, will occur in the transportation sector, with about 35 percent of the total output earned by firms and jobs in that industry. But other job sectors will be affected as well, including construction, professional, scientific and technical services as well as health care, social assistance, and the retail trade. The LAEDC report concludes: “Each of these industries will see an increase in business revenue and in the number of jobs as the effects of the increase in activity due to this spending ripple through the regional economy.”
Measure J Speeds Up Traffic Relief Projects
Measure J speeds up the completion of eight highway and seven transit projects in LA County — including light rail, subway and airport connections — so that they can be finished in just 13 years rather than 27 years, as originally planned in the 2008 sales tax measure that was approved by voters. Measure J also funds cities and unincorporated areas of LA County to fix thousands of potholes annually as well as repair congested streets and deteriorated sidewalks. The following traffic relief projects will be accelerated.
Accelerated highway projects: ramp and interchange improvements will be made to the I-405, I-110, I-105 and SR-91; capacity enhancements will be made to the I-5 North, from SR-14 to Kern County Line; “hotspot” improvements will be made to especially congested interchanges on the I-605; operational improvements will be made to highways in the Arroyo Verdugo subregion and to highways in the Las Virgenes/Malibu subregion; soundwalls will be constructed countywide; improvements will be made to the I-710 South and/or “Early Action Projects” will be completed; and safety upgrades will be made to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight corridor, including grade separations between tracks and streets.
Measure J Improves Freeway Traffic Flow
Measure J will improve traffic flow on all LA County freeways — the 5, 10, 15, 60, 101, 138, 210, 405, 605 and 710 — through highway improvements all over the county, as well as transit projects that will reduce the number of cars on the road. Highway improvement projects include operational improvements to ramps and interchanges, carpool and truck lanes, freeway ramp and “hotspot” improvements, grade separations for freight rail (to separate streets and tracks) and sound walls. All of these projects will help prepare for the hundreds of thousands of additional cars expected on LA County roads in coming decades.
Measure J Makes It Possible To Keep Bus Fares Low for Seniors, Students, and the Disabled
Twenty percent of Measure J revenues are dedicated to bus service operations and 5 percent are dedicated to rail service operations, helping to keep fares low for seniors, students and people who are disabled, and helping to guard against service cuts. By extending the transportation sales tax approved by voters in 2008 for another 30 years, from 2039 to 2069, Measure J creates a longer revenue stream that can be used for bus and rail operations. While the 2008 transportation sales tax generated $9.9 billion for transit operations by 2039, Measure J will generate $22.2 billion over an additional 30 years, until 2069, helping to stabilize both fares and service over the long term.
Measure J Provides Strict Accountability
Measure J requires that all revenues stay in LA County with strict accountability. Funds can only be used for traffic relief projects and services as detailed in an agreed-upon countywide plan, with annual independent audits and full public review of expenditures. Reports will be available for public review on the internet and in public libraries. And there is ongoing monitoring by the independent taxpayer oversight committee of retired judges, who will review spending to make sure that tax dollars are spent properly.