Metro 2020 Transportation Funding Measure
In what’s being hailed as an unprecedented moment for regional transportation reform, Metro Council voted unanimously on Thursday to adopt the Get Moving 2020 plan and send it to voters in November.
Centered around 17 “investment corridors,” the plan could pump nearly $8 billion into regional transportation infrastructure and programs over the next 20 years. If approved, the measure would start generating revenue in 2022 with a 0.75% payroll tax paid by employers of businesses with over 25 employees. (UPDATE: A last-minute amendment exempts all state and local government agencies.) Metro’s latest pitch has framed the proposal as a massive jobs package that will put over 37,500 people to work with high-paying construction and consulting jobs.
Metro spent over 18 months negotiating the details of this package. While it’s not perfect and has received very mixed reviews from transportation reform activists, the overall feeling seems to be that the myriad benefits of the “good” projects and programs far outweigh the few “bad” projects that made the cut.
It’s been easy to forget with the pandemic and protests dominating the news since March, but Metro still hopes to put this measure on the ballot in November. If all goes according to plan it will raise $3.1 billion for infrastructure projects, including $975 million for the new SW Corridor MAX light rail line.
“Now more than ever the intersectionality of environmental justice, racial justice and transportation justice is a major key in how our city proceeds with its priorities,” reads a description of the event. “Feedback about the anti-oppression and community engagement portions of this bond will be an especially important part of how we move forward.”
Policymaking can often feel far-removed from our everyday lives. Then there are times when we can connect current policy debates with matters of life-and-death with a short, straight line. This is one of those times.[Read more…]