To the editor: Measure M, the half-cent sales tax increase to raise money for transportation projects, is a deception. ("Campaigns supporting Metro's transportation tax bring in more than $4.5 million," Oct. 6)
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is one of the wealthiest local government agencies in history, with great discretion in how to spend our money. Unfortunately, it spends it on rail projects that reduce both transit service and use. Trains are expensive, and the MTA's rail projects suppress the service the agency can deliver and the number of people served.
Over the last 30 years, rail expenditures have decreased complete trips per capita across Los Angeles County transit systems by 33%. On the MTA's share of the system, the 30-year drop in complete transit trips per capita is more than 47%.
What L.A. County residents need is not more sales taxes, but an honest, objective spending plan for increasing the transit service so many need.
James E. Moore II, Los Angeles
The writer is a USC transportation engineering professor.