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U.S. Department of Transportation Celebrates $2.1 Billion in Grant and Loan Funds to Extend Subway Service in West Los Angeles

WASHINGTON – U.S Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced $2.1 billion in federal grant and loan agreements to help build the 3.9-mile Westside Purple Line Extension from downtown Los Angeles to the City of Beverly Hills—expanding transit options in one of the most congested corridors in Los Angeles County. The project sponsor, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA), will receive $1.25 billion in construction grant funds from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program and up to $856 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan program.

“The continued expansion of Los Angeles’ public transportation system is vitally important to millions of area residents who need reliable, affordable access to jobs, education, and other ladders of opportunity that this region has to offer,” said Secretary Foxx. “We need Congress to pass a long-term transportation bill so we can continue to invest in more good projects like this one that help major cities like Los Angeles plan a sustainable future where hard-working families can fully participate in its growth and success.”

The Westside Section 1 project—the first of three planned extensions of the Metro Purple Line subway—is expected to improve travel times and transit capacity from Beverly Hills to downtown Los Angeles, North Hollywood, Union Station, and other Los Angeles county communities. The project includes three new underground stations and 34 heavy rail vehicles to augment the existing fleet. LACMTA estimates that project construction will create more than 22,000 jobs. The extension is expected to open in 2024 and provide more than 20,000 trips daily.

“The Purple Line extension will help to alleviate congestion on popular Metro bus routes along Wilshire Boulevard, giving residents more options for getting around the city—and making it easier than ever to get around without a car,” said FTA Chief Counsel Carter. “The future of Los Angeles depends on our ability to continue investing in the transportation infrastructure this city and others need to manage a growing population and accommodate future riders.”

In addition to the $2.1 billion in funds announced for the Westside project today, the $2.8 billion project is also receiving approximately $12.2 million in other DOT and FTA funds, with the remainder funded by state and local sources.

The Obama Administration recently unveiled the GROW AMERICA Act, a bold $302 billion, four-year national vision for an aging transportation network and a growing population. The GROW AMERICA Act would invest $72 billion in public transportation alone to address the urgent transit challenges facing our urban, suburban and rural communities. The Act provides a nearly 70 percent increase in authorized funding for public transportation over the current transportation law, MAP-21.

Including the Westside Purple Line Extension, the FTA has executed 41 construction grant agreements for transformational transit projects since 2009 through its CIG Program. An additional 39 proposed projects are in the CIG pipeline that will need funding in the future, should they meet eligibility requirements.  The President seeks a job-creating $10.77 billion investment for the CIG Program over four years in the GROW AMERICA Act.  Without this level of funding, the FTA will be unable to fund many of the worthwhile projects currently in the pipeline.

FTA is advancing two other major transit expansion projects in the Los Angeles metropolitan area: the $1.4 billion Regional Connector linking the Blue, Gold, and Exposition light rail lines in the heart of Los Angeles, which was approved for a $670 million FTA construction grant agreement, $64 million in other DOT funds, and a $160 million TIFIA loan in February; and the $2.1 billion Crenshaw/LAX light rail transit corridor project, which broke ground in January, and is funded in part with a $545.9 million TIFIA loan and approximately $130 million in other FTA and DOT funds. Eight additional rail and bus rapid transit projects in California that could receive federal construction funding in the future are also currently in FTA’s capital investment grant pipeline.

The TIFIA credit program is designed to fill market gaps and leverage substantial non-federal investments. Each dollar of federal funding can provide up to $10 in TIFIA credit assistance and support up to $30 in transportation infrastructure investment. Since its launch, the TIFIA program has helped 45 projects turn approximately $17 billion in DOT assistance into more than $64 billion in infrastructure investment across America. The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) transformed TIFIA into one of the largest transportation infrastructure loan programs in history, making up to $17 billion available in credit assistance available for critical infrastructure projects.

Secretary Foxx was joined today by FTA Chief Counsel Dorval R. Carter, Jr.; Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer; U.S. Representatives Xavier Becerra and Henry Waxman, and other members of the Los Angeles Congressional delegation; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Santa Monica Mayor Pam O’Connor; and other state and local officials.

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DOT 50-14

Wednesday, May 21, 2014