Victor Dominguez is a commuter who spends two hours getting from Downey to Pomona on the bus and rail. That commute could possibly be shortened if the new Measure M plan is passed, but Dominguez is not that open to the idea of giving Metro any more money.
Measure M is a plan supported by the Metro Board of Directors to bring traffic improvement to Los Angeles County. It aims to reduce the traffic congestion and air pollution throughout the next 40 years.
The proposal stated that the Los Angeles County of Economic Development Corporation's latest forecast showed the improvement plan is expected to add over 450,000 new jobs across the county. If passed, the proposal would be make these changes by adding a half-cent sales tax increase.
"It seems like it's meaningless, you want to support a cause that is needy not a cause that has a lot of money," said Dominguez. He said he also feels that Metro already has enough money to fund its expansion plan.
This is not the first time a plan like Measure M has appeared on the ballot. In 2012, Measure J, which also proposed a half-cent tax, did not pass by a margin of only two percentage points. However, this time around, the proposition has the open support of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
"It doesn't matter who you're going to vote for for President. Whether you're a Hillary Clinton supporter, a Donald Trump supporter, a Jill Stein supporter, a Johnson supporter, you're stuck in traffic and we can all agree on one thing," said Mayor Garcetti at a press conference. "It's time to move L.A. County forward."
This traffic improvement would expand the rail and rapid transit system. Besides building new systems, the plan will look to improve on already established areas as well; this includes repaving streets, improving pedestrian and bike connections and repairing potholes. The sales tax that will be used to fund this plan will be based proportionally off of population per capita.
"[Mike Antonovich] opposed Measure J because he thought it was not fair. He represents San Gabriel Valley of the North County, he wanted to make sure that everybody got the same money based on population. So that should, for the average voter say, 'Oh, we're not getting screwed over. Some other part of town isn't taking our money,'" said Mayor Garcetti.
Not everyone feels that this tax is the best plan to improve traffic in Los Angeles. One group, Fight for the Soul of the Cities, feels that the tax is regressive and that MTA already has money for the transportation system they want to build. The group feels there is a better solution than raising the taxes for citizens.
Barbara Lott-Holland, the Co-Chair of Fight for the Soul of the Cities, said there should be no law enforcement on public transportation and instead wants to transfer the millions of dollars that the law enforcement is budgeting to "support and fund…a no fare public transportation system."
According to Lott-Holland, Fight for the Soul of the Cities is also calling for 5,000 new zero-emissions buses and a dramatic reduction in single-passenger automobiles in order to push back on global warming.
The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors agreed in August to add the initiative to the November ballot that would generate an estimated $860 million a year. In order to be approved, the measure will need a two-thirds majority vote to pass.
After 2039, the half-cent sales tax will raise to one cent in order to replace Measure R, another half-cent tax, which will expire that year. Measure M is expected to last indefinitely.