Very rarely are we, as citizens, given the opportunity to make a decision that will dramatically transform our economy and our quality of life for generations to come. That is the opportunity that Los Angeles County residents have on Nov. 8 when we vote on whether to continue our investment in transportation improvements for our entire county through Measure M.
In our region, 465,000 new jobs. Fixed potholes and repaved local streets. Improvements to nearly all of our major freeways. Transit projects in every corner of the County, including long-awaited extensions of existing lines, bus to light rail conversions and entirely new projects. All with the goal of reducing the time we’re stuck in traffic and giving us additional choices when it comes to mobility. You can see the exciting possibilities here.
Earlier this month, Metro reported that the new Expo Line extension that opened in May added 20,000 additional rides to the system each weekday and doubled the number of Sunday riders. A snapshot of 1,000 riders at the seven new stations showed that 70 percent were new to the Expo Line. Of those, nearly half used to drive alone. The Gold Line extension to Azusa opened in March and in May ridership was up 23 percent from the prior May. If we invest, the ridership will come.
Measure M will cost on average less than 9 cents a day per person, and will create one of the most advanced transportation systems in the U.S. This small investment per capita will save hours spent in gridlock and save money on excessive wear and tear on our cars. It will open up new job possibilities as we develop convenient transit to employment centers. Westsiders will be able to catch a Dodgers game or concert at Disney Hall in the evening and those in the eastern part of the County will be able to access the beach or LAX in reasonable time periods.
Investing in our infrastructure is critical to improving our economy and our quality of life. I strongly urge each of you to vote yes on Measure M for mobility and forward motion in the 21st century.