A Quick Look at Metro’s Newly Released Measure R2 Expenditure Plan

Metro's Measure R2 draft expenditure plan pie chart. Image via Metro
Metro’s Measure R2 draft expenditure plan pie chart. Image via Metro

At a press briefing this morning, Metro’s CEO Phil Washington released the agency’s draft expenditure plan for a potential $120 billion November 2016 ballot measure, often referred to as Measure R2.

The expenditure plan is expected to be received and filed by the full Metro board of directors at its monthly meeting next Thursday March 24. Metro will receive input on the plan in the coming months. Final expenditure language is expected to be approved at the June board meeting.

There will likely be jockeying over the next few months to adjust funding percentages and project timelines, but even within the draft there are a few details to be worked out. Metro had initially been planning a 40-year sales tax. The draft plan includes 40-, 45-, and 50-year options. Washington reported that Metro staff are recommending the 50-year sales tax, which would generate a projected additional $11 billion compared to the 40-year plan.

Here are the draft expenditures ranked by allocation amount: 

  • 35 percent – Transit Construction – includes rail, bus rapid transit (BRT), Union Station, some Metrolink projects
  • 20 percent – Transit Operations – includes Metro bus and Municipal bus operations
  • 17 percent – Highway Construction – includes freeways, toll lanes, and some port and goods movement projects
  • 16 percent – Local Return – per capita funding to municipalities for transportation projects
  • 5 percent – Rail Operations
  • 2 percent – ADA Paratransit service for disabled, seniors, students
  • 2 percent – Metro State of Good Repair and Safety Improvements
  • 2 percent – Regional Active Transportation projects
  • 1 percent – Regional Rail – Metrolink projects

The full documents include extensive lists of rail, BRT, and highway projects and how they would be sequenced. SBLA will be taking a deeper dive into this in the future. For now here are a few interesting inclusions and omissions:

  • Metro has not included pedestrian and bicycle funding in past ballot measures; this plan includes 2 percent. This is better than Measure R’s zero, but well below advocates’ demands of ten percent and less than other successful ballot measures in Alameda, S.F., Marin and Santa Barbara counties. Washington asserted that the two percent, plus some cities spending some of their local return monies on walking and bicycling, means that active transportation would get about “4.5 to 5 percent” from the overall pie.
  • Metro’s planned transit project build out includes some bicycle path projects: two sections of the Los Angeles River, and a portion of the Pacoima Wash.
  • The downtown Los Angeles Streetcar would receive funding.
  • While the expenditure plan includes two lower 710 Freeway projects, it does not include the $6 billion upper 710 Freeway tunnels project.
  • Early on, the Metro Orange Line BRT would be improved, adding several grade crossings. In later years it would be converted to rail.
  • There is an extensive plan for the Sepulveda Pass. Initially HOV lanes would be converted to tolled ExpressLanes, then toll revenue would help fund a rail-only tunnel connecting the Valley with the Westside.

SBLA is still making our way through the documents and attachments and Metro’s explainer website. We have already received various press releases responding to the plan. VICA (Valley Industry & Commerce Association) likes it. Investing in Place is disappointed. We will continue our coverage of the plan as its final shape emerges.

What do you think, readers? Would you vote for this as is? What do you like? What would you like to see changed or prioritized differently than today’s draft?


  • Slexie

    Why do you feel sorry for me? I don’t feel sorry for myself, what is that about? You portray yourself as superior to drivers. Why? Hating drivers comes off as insecure, angry and bitter. But to you drivers and bikers are 2 separate entities whom you pass judgement over. How can they coexist in your world? Generalizing isn’t cool. I bike and I drive and I know what I’m talking about, because it’s based on my experience. MY personal experience. You don’t even drive, so how would you know anything about getting around? I laugh in your general direction.

    There is no overall plan. Wrong.
    you’re commenting on the release of Metros draft plan for the next 40 years.

    I was speaking generally as you asked me a question, remember? It’s a plan, no idea how much of it will come to fruition. Talk is cheap, a plan isn’t action. So looks like you’re wrong.

    -TAP is the dumbest and least efficient payment method in the universe. Wrong
    Outside of Chicago, LA has one of the best fare systems and most affordable in the Western World. NYC, DC, Boston issue paper tickets, Philly still has tokens…

    I didn’t say anything about the affordability of TAP. I said it’s not efficient. I don’t care what other cities are doing. Is that supposed to mean anything to the average rider in LA? What’s the point of bringing that up? There isn’t one and you didn’t address what I said. It doesn’t have to be compared to anything for it to be dumb and inefficient.

    -[the city] only want to make everyone’s commute slower for some God forsaken reason. Wrong.

    No, I’m right. The city Mobility plan 3035 states there is no plan to reduce commute times. And they’ve already proved that by taking out traffic lanes and putting in bike lanes. Sure, the bike lanes sit empty, but that doesn’t stop the city from insisting they are needed. You know, for the 1% of commuters who bike to work. They want commuters to get out of their cars and sit on a bus for 2 hours instead of driving. I’m so right about that, sorry.

    The city put the bike land for the Orange Line in the door zone. Brilliant. But you wouldn’t know that because you have not experienced the Orange Line or it’s bike lane. I don’t talk about things I don’t know. And if you don’t believe me why do you bother reading anything I write? Go to Arizona yourself.

  • Mike

    You have it tough, that’s all. I wish it were easier for you to take advantage of the system.

    … Yeah I think bikers and motorist are two separate entities (because they are) and yeah there’s challenges to coexist as evidence by clashes like this, you said it yourself in the previous post when you complained about road diets multiple times, conflict with orange line and placement of bike lanes. Get your story straight and stop contradicting yourself.

    No I don’t own a car anymore, but I still drive from time to time and frequently travel as a passenger. The car problem exists regardless of whether or not I am driving, and irrelevant my personal proclivity to movement AND thanks for highlighting the major difference in our dispute, you justify your sentiments with anecdotes and individual accounts which is hardly applicable in situations that involve millions and millions of commuters. I, on the other hand, have support backed by credentials in urban planning and thorough understanding of transit and mobility.

    It’s a plan, it’s in draft stage, they aren’t gonna abandon ship because Slex doesn’t like it, it’ll go through revisions until it’s broadly accepted and will proceed just like it did 30 years ago and 10 years ago

    -est it’s a superlative suffix and by definition implies comparison (ex: good, better, best) so when you say things like “dumbest” and “least efficient” you’re comparing (in this case to the whole universe of transit) based on ridership, capacity, size, price, operation hours etc LA metro is quantitatively superior to many agencies in the US. Having ridden nearly all rail systems in the country, I’d say it does a great job but remember! We shan’t use anecdotes for issues with such gravitas because they’re practically irrelevant :) keep that in mind next time you try to sound “knowledgable”

    “I don’t talk about things I don’t know” yeah, you’re probably right, after all you have a bike, car AND you ride the bus!! An Ebenezer Howard if I’ve ever seen one. With your EZ bake oven and your Martha Stewart apron, you have the floor Betty Crocker

  • Alexander Vucelic

    what is density of West Side say within 2-5 miles of beach ?

    Areas south of Westwood ?

    West Hollywood ?

    I always guess these areas have densities in the 20,000 to 35,000 range but have not found any data

  • Slexie

    I don’t have it rough. Why do I have it rough? I get around just fine. If I complain about the experiences I’ve had trying to get around LA, I still manage to get around just fine because I have a car. I can’t spend 2 hours getting across town on the bus, and I’ve done it. And I’ve done it more than once, more than twice. You spout off how you ” have support backed by credentials in urban planning and thorough understanding of transit and mobility.”, which means nothing. What does that have to do with anything when you’ve never been on a city bus? That’s just rhetoric and says nothing about the experience of actually being completely dependent on the bus and rail system. You don’t know, you sound like a politician completely out of touch with the real world. You threw up some experience of being on the BBB and how great it is. I’m sure it is, if you have to get from one side of SM to the other. You’ve never been dependent on a city bus to get across LA, so you don’t know. You take some phrase off the internet as some experience you believe and it’s really not relevant, and you don’t know if it’s even true.

    I’ve never been on the Expo Line. The only thing I know is that part of the bike lane isn’t completed. What does that mean? I don’t know. So I can’t say if it’s a huge issue, if it matters little, if it’s unsafe, I don’t know. Anyone in the world could tell me how great or how bad it is, but that’s not my experience. The Orange Line bike lane being in the door zone? I’ve biked on it more than once and it’s not safe. See how that works? I’ve never been on the Expo line, but I’ve biked the Orange Line bike lane many times. Pop quiz: Which subject would I be qualified to talk about? Think hard.

    “you justify your sentiments with anecdotes and individual accounts”

    Anecdotes are other peoples’ accounts, and I don’t know whose “individual accounts” you think I’m talking about.

    Everything I’m talking about is my experience. You continue with thinking you are superior, but unless you have actually been on the transit you claim is so great, you know nothing.

    Get my story straight? About what? Not liking a bike lane placed in the door zone? Not liking what street the city chose to put a road diet on? Is something wrong with you? As a driver and a biker I’m supposed to like all bike infrastructure, even if it’s unsafe? Or as a driver, after MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE on 2 streets both before and after a road diet doesn’t matter? Give me a break. Nothing I’ve said is rooted in a one time experience. The evidence of how things are on Virgil, on Rowena, on the Orange Line bike lane, on the city bus, are all experiences I’ve had many, many times.

    Betty Crocker? More sexist nastiness from you. That’s really DUMB to resort to that. But I’m sure it’s not the DUMBEST thing you’ve said today. I’m sure many more sexist things will come out of your mouth, all DUMBER than what you’ve already said.

    Or just don’t read what I write, there’s a solution for you.

  • Kenny Easwaran

    Didn’t you just say that Staten Island has a density of about 8000 and Queens is at 20,000? If Panorama City is at 18,000, then it beats Staten Island, and many parts of Queens. That is, by definition, “a density the same as parts of NYC”. I’m sure if we look at smaller sub-regions of the Valley and of NYC, we can find plenty of others.

  • Slexie

    She was claiming the Valley is just as dense as parts of NYC. Yes, one part of NYC, and it’s still part of NYC with a density of 27,000 ppsm. Not Queens, if Queens is 20,000 it doesn’t beat Panorama City at 18,000, and that’s the most dense part of the Valley. She should have said Koreatown which is around 42,000 ppsm. Regardless, LA is still way spread out compared to NY.

  • Slexie

    At 21,870 Palms has the highest density on the Westside.
    Here’s the top 20 densest neighborhoods in LA County:

    1 Koreatown 42,611

    2 Westlake 38,214

    3 East Hollywood 31,095

    4 Pico-Union 25,352

    5 Maywood 23,638

    6 Harvard Heights 23,473

    7 Hollywood 22,193

    8 Walnut Park 22,028

    9 Palms 21,870

    10 Adams-Normandie 21,848

    11 South Park 21,638

    12 Lennox 21,557

    13 Arlington Heights 21,423

    14 Huntington Park 20,223

    15 University Park 20,217

    16 Cudahy 19,697

    17 Historic South-Central 19,474

    18 West Hollywood 18,924

    19 Central-Alameda 18,760

    20 Vermont-Slauson 18,577

  • Slexie

    Right the $uck on! Speak it sister!

  • Alexander Vucelic

    this ie powerful & illuminating data.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    I am guessing then Venice etc Have densitiies in the 10,000-15,000 range ?

  • Slexie

    Venice is 11,891 ranked at #67

  • Alexander Vucelic

    11,000 ?

    that’s thin

    where is list ?

  • Slexie

    LA Times web site.

  • Phantom Commuter


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