Contact: Paul Griffo
LOS ANGELES – People living and visiting the Los Angeles area will soon have improved transit options and reduced congestion thanks to $34.7 million from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) 2011 Bus Livability and State of Good Repair competitive discretionary programs. FTA Deputy Administrator Therese McMillan was at Metro headquarters in Los Angeles today to make the announcement and to encourage Congress to support the transportation investments proposed under President Obama's American Jobs Act. She was joined by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Metro CEO Art Leahy and other officials.
“Investing in America’s transit systems, rails, roads, ports and airports is the perfect way to generate tens of thousands of construction-related jobs and put more money into the pockets of working Americans,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “But we must do more. Congress needs to pass the transportation portion of the American Jobs Act so we can continue to invest in critically needed projects like these, and to repair and modernize our nation’s transportation systems.”
The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the transportation proposals made under the President’s American Jobs Act next week.
The transit grants announced today will help Metro purchase new energy-efficient compressed natural gas buses and construct a new Patsaouras Plaza Bus Station adjacent to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, which will serve El Monte Busway passengers and other transit riders. The improved station will connect directly to Union Station, Los Angeles’ main passenger rail station, and provide more convenient connections between other bus lines, light rail, Amtrak and Metrolink commuter rail.
The project is part of the Metro ExpressLanes Demonstration Program, a larger strategic effort to reduce traffic congestion along the I-10 and I-110 freeways in Los Angeles County. The demonstration program, a partnership between the U.S. Department of Transportation, Metro and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), is currently under construction and expected to generate 2,400 jobs, thanks in part to a $210 million federal grant awarded by the Department of Transportation four years ago.
“As a native Californian, I know first-hand just how crowded our highways and roads are and how without these federal investments our cities’ buses will continue to age and break down,” Deputy Administrator McMillan said. “This Administration is committed to working with Los Angeles to bring more good transportation projects home that will help create new jobs, while achieving the goals of reducing congestion, cleaning our air, and allowing families to save on gas.”
The grants announced today are included among more than 300 competitive discretionary grants totaling nearly $930 million announced nationwide earlier this month by Secretary LaHood and FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff to rebuild and renovate America’s transit infrastructure and plan for the future. FTA is providing more than $126 million for 41 projects in California. A complete list of successful project proposals can be found at http://fta.dot.gov/grants/13094.html.
FTA reviewed 839 project applications representing $4.9 billion in funding requests from transit providers across the country for the fiscal year 2011 competitive discretionary grant programs. Passing the American Jobs Act would help many more qualified projects to be funded, and create tens of thousands more jobs.