Now that the dust from California's epic budget battle is starting to settle, Curbed L.A. has done some quick analysis and found that despite the seeming loss of $136 million in operating funds, L.A.'s transit system will not be as hard hit as first thought. That's partly because of anticipated money from the federal stimulus package but also because of Measure R funding. The half-cent sales tax, passed last November by slightly more than two-thirds of L.A. County voters, was intended to raise money for new transit projects while improving and expanding existing ones. Now, though, it will become the county transit system's rainy day money.
Curbed L.A. quotes Metropolitan Transit Authority spokesman Mark Littman as promising no service cuts or fare hikes — just some “tweaking.”
So the jury might still be out on R, depending on what angle you view it from. Was it an obvious boondoggle doomed to be tapped for uses other than those on which the public was sold? Or was it a far-sighted act of civic preparedness?