September 29 -- The Los Angeles Times endorsed Measure M today in a clear and thorough editorial, which was headlined in a manner that truly says it all: "L.A. County residents need alternatives to sitting in soul-crushing traffic. Vote yes on Measure M."
The Times cites the immediate success of the Expo Line extension to Santa Monica, as well as huge spikes in new ridership aboard the Gold Line Extension to Azusa, as indicators of swelling demand in a region increasingly challenged by traffic and crying out for solutions.
From the editorial:
Los Angeles County residents crave fast, convenient and affordable transportation options. Just look at what happened when the new Expo Line extension to Santa Monica opened in May. It was crowded from the get-go, and ridership on the line since then has climbed 42% on weekdays and 90% on Sundays.
That experience has been repeated again and again as the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has opened new rapid transit lines. More than 70% of the riders surveyed on the Gold Line after the extension to Azusa was opened in March said they were new to the train, and two-thirds of those said that they used to drive prior to taking the light rail. The Orange Line busway in the San Fernando Valley has far exceeded ridership projections.
There’s pent-up demand for alternatives to sitting in soul-crushing, air-polluting traffic. Los Angeles grew into a metropolis by relying on cars and freeways, but the region cannot continue to prosper without investing in a modern, efficient transportation system. Congestion makes it harder to conduct business and move goods — a problem in a region with the nation’s largest port complex. With a half-built transit system, people are left to drive long distances or rely on multiple buses and trains to reach work or school. Or worse, it means they don’t consider certain jobs or opportunities because of the commute.