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Earlier today, the White House released President Obama’s Federal Fiscal Year 2017 Budget that includes robust funding for several Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) projects and programs. Specifically the bill includes a recommendation that $375 million be invested in Metro Rail projects and also includes programmatic funding that will deliver over $600 million in formula funds for Metro in Federal Fiscal Year 2017. The President’s Budget also includes funding for the successful TIGER grant program ($1.25 billion) and for the low interest federal loan program known as the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program ($275 million).
“I want to thank President Obama for supporting Metro’s efforts to improve transportation options for Los Angeles County’s 10 million residents,” said Metro Board Chair Mark Ridley-Thomas. “President Obama’s Budget represents a big boost for Metro and would help us continue to expand our bus and rail system in order to ease congestion throughout the region.”
“The federal funds that President Obama is recommending in his Budget for Metro transportation projects will keep thousands of individuals in Los Angeles County hard at work building and providing mobility to millions of local residents,” said Metro CEO Phillip Washington.
Specifically, the President’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget includes $125 million for the Regional Connector transit project which extends from the Metro Gold Line Little Tokyo/Arts District Station to the 7th Street/Metro Center Station in downtown Los Angeles, allowing passengers to transfer to Blue, Expo, Red and Purple Lines, bypassing Union Station. The 1.9-mile alignment will serve Little Tokyo, the Arts District, Civic Center, The Historic Core, Broadway, Grand Ave, Bunker Hill, Flower St and the Financial District. This new Metro Rail extension will also provide a one-seat ride for travel across Los Angeles County. From the Metro Gold Line, passengers will be able to travel from Azusa to Long Beach and from East Los Angeles to Santa Monica without transferring lines.
The Budget also includes $250 million for the Westside Purple Line Extension (Sections 1 and 2) which extends the existing Purple Line from Wilshire/Western to La Cienega (Section 1) and then on to Century City (Section 2). The Westside Purple Line Extension transit project, which is currently under construction, is a critically important rail project that will provide a high-capacity, high-speed, dependable alternative for commuters to travel between downtown Los Angeles and the Westside.
From 1993 through 2015 Metro has secured an average of $74.3 million in New Starts funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation. With the passage of Measure R by Los Angeles County voters in 2008, Metro has been able to leverage local funds to secure a significant amount of federal transportation dollars.
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