University of Wisconsin–Madison

Voting is the Easy Part: Why LA’s Measure M Hasn’t Led to Greater Transit Use

Type Policy Brief or Report
Year 2019
Level City or Town
State(s) California
Policy Areas Finance & Procurement, Transportation & Mobility
In 2016, citizens of Los Angeles voted in favor of Measure M, a ½-cent sales tax increase that will raise $120 billion over forty years for transit expansion and maintenance, and traffic and street improvements. Despite this, transit ridership in Los Angeles has continued to fall. This report studies why Los Angelenos are not using transit, despite voting for it. Results show that in LA, driving continues to be much more convenient and efficient than riding transit, due to LA’s low central, densities, high sprawl, wide roads, and massive amounts of parking. However, even with the funds to make transit more attractive, Los Angeles has continued to build streets and neighbors that cater to cars. Additionally, many “transit voters” are not in favor of the policies necessary to make transit work effectively.

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