Los Angeles Metro Discretionary Grant Announcement

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Remarks for Therese McMillan, FTA

10/28/2011

Thank you, Mayor Villaraigosa and Art Leahy [LA Metro], for inviting me to join you today.

It’s great to be back in my home state of California.

On behalf of President Obama and Secretary LaHood, I want to congratulate the people of Los Angeles.

We’re here today to celebrate $34 million in federal grants to improve transit connections and reduce congestion for millions of area residents and commuters.

These grants will help Metro to buy new energy-efficient buses, and build a new Patsaouras Plaza Bus Station right next to Union Station downtown, so travelers can more easily connect with buses and trains from downtown LA to almost anywhere.

But the fact is we should be doing a lot more than this for a county as big and as busy as LA.

And we could do a lot more if Congress would pass the transportation provisions in the American Jobs Act.

Right here in LA and Orange County, the American Jobs Act, by itself, would deliver more than $400 million to modernize local bus and transit facilities and bring them into a state of good repair. . .

And the Jobs Act would deliver over $1 billion to California for transit improvements statewide.

Modernizing stations to accommodate more passengers…

And improving connections between bus and rail service—so that even more people leave their cars at home and take transit instead.

We know the needs are out there.

And we know the need for good jobs are out there.

The project we’re announcing today will help to create or sustain upwards of 1,000 jobs.

Add to that another 4,000 jobs connected with Metro’s and the state DOT’s ongoing work to reduce traffic congestion on LA’s famously crowded freeways and build a major new bus operations facility next to Union Station.

Now imagine what LA could accomplish if Congress got off the dime and passed the American Jobs Act.

There are too many people hurting in this country – and in Los Angeles County -- for us to simply do nothing.

That’s why Congress needs to get this done – now.

The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act showed us the way – showed us that taxpayer dollars invested in transportation bring jobs and a better standard of living back to those very same taxpayers.

So I urge all of you to tell your representatives:

Pass the Jobs Act.

It will put more people to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans.

It will provide our economy with the jolt that it really needs right now.

And it will allow us to invest in more good transportation projects like the ones we’re highlighting today.

Thank you.

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