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Election results add doubt to San Diego's rail expansion plans

Traffic on College Avenue near San Diego State University in this undated photo.
Amal Younis
Traffic on College Avenue near San Diego State University in this undated photo.

Results from the midterm election in San Diego County could shift the balance of power in the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) governing board, putting its railway expansion plans at risk.

SANDAG is depending on increased local taxes and road charges for drivers to fund its $160 billion Regional Transportation Plan. But a shift in political party affiliation on its board may make the railway expansion projects harder to achieve.

"We're probably going to see some more conservative board members on the SANDAG governing board, and they have said they're very hostile to the idea of raising taxes to fund public transit, especially when it comes to these per-mile fees on drivers," said Joshua Emerson Smith, senior environment reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune.

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Smith joined Midday Edition Tuesday to talk about the uncertainty with SANDAG's transit plans, as well as the future of its leader, Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata.