Public transportation in Orange County, Calif., received a huge boost on Tuesday as voters approved the renewal of Measure M a half-cent sales tax that goes toward transit service, streets and freeways.
The half-cent sales tax extension should provide more than $11.8 billion to improve transportation in Orange County over a 30-year period beginning in 2011. The program is administered by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).
Voters approved the measure by a 68.5%-31.5% margin, nearly 2 percentage points more than the required two-thirds majority. "This sends a clear message that voters care about the future of transportation in Orange County," said Art Leahy, OCTA's chief executive.
About $3 billion of the $11.8 billion is expected to be spent on transit service.