Metro to Unveil Blueprint to Expand Rail Service, Including Tunnel Through Sepulveda Pass

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An extension of the Metro Gold Line is among the proposed transit projects that would be funded if voters approve a sales tax increase in November 2016 that seeks to raise $120 billion for transportation. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Seeking to build public support for a $120-billion ballot measure, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is poised to release a sweeping proposal that would dramatically expand rail service throughout Los Angeles County over the next half-century.

The list of projects includes a long-discussed tunnel through the Sepulveda Pass — one that could include a rail line and toll freeway — as well as new light rail lines in the San Fernando Valley and southeastern L.A. County and faster bus service on some major corridors, according to two officials who have been briefed on the plan but were not authorized to speak publicly.

Voters will likely be asked in November to extend an existing half-cent sales tax for two more decades, and raise the county’s sales tax rate by an additional half-cent for four decades or longer. The taxes would raise an estimated $120 billion.

The measure, which needs a two-thirds majority to pass, would boost Los Angeles County’s base sales tax rate to 9.5%.

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