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Sour economy triggers drop in Measure R transportation receipts

November 18, 2011 |  3:49 pm

Los Angeles MTA chief Art Leahy talks about upcoming rail projects as he rides to Pasadena on the GOLD Line earlier this year. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

The head of Los Angeles County's transportation agency said Friday that the region's sour economy has pushed down by 10% to 15% projected revenues from Measure R, the half-cent sales tax for road and transit improvements.

Instead of generating as much as $40 billion over the next 30 years, the tax is now projected to bring in $34 billion to $36 billion, although revenues are beginning to recover.

"Measure R receipts are down," Art Leahy, head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said during a Los Angeles Current Affairs Forum downtown. He added that the agency needs to closely watch its spending.

Measure R was approved by voters in 2008, just before it was clear that the nation was in recession.

"In order to be successful, MTA must manage frugally," Leahy said, adding that optional rail stations such as Leimert Park on the impending Crenshaw/LAX Line might not be affordable.

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-- Ari Bloomekatz

Photo: MTA chief Art Leahy. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

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