June 4: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

1974:  California’s Proposition 5 passes statewide as well as in Los Angeles County, paving the way for a portion of gasoline taxes to fund rail rapid transit construction.

Proposition 5

The vote for the “Highways and Mass Transit Guideways Legislative Constitutional Amendment” is 60.3% in favor of the measure at a time when only a simple majority is required for passage.

Proposition 5’s official ballot summary states that the measure:

“Extends present use of revenues from motor vehicle fuel taxes and license fees for highway construction to permit use for research, planning, and construction of mass transit guideways and mitigation of environmental effects of each. Unless approved by majority vote of area affected, funds may only be used for research and planning. Continues existing statutory formula for allocation of revenues to cities, counties, and areas of state until altered by Legislature. Permits up to 25% of area revenues available to be used to pay for voter-approved bond issues. Deletes obsolete provisions.”

Proposition 5 repeals what was then Article XXVI of the California Constitution, replacing it with an entirely new Article XXVI.