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L.A. plans for more rail lines gets a boost in Washington

L.A. got some good news this week in its effort to fast track some major transportation projects.

On Friday, officials announced that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood had expressed support for L.A.'s fast-track plans and saw them as a potential model for other transportation projects.

"I can assure you that the U.S. Department of Transportation is committed to working with you to explore this promising approach in the next transportation reauthorization bill," LaHood wrote in a letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

Besides the proposed Westside subway, other projects Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hopes to speed up include a long-sought rail extension to Los Angeles International Airport, a Crenshaw Boulevard line, a Gold Line extension through the San Gabriel Valley and busways in the San Fernando Valley.

Villaraigosa said that any money Washington advanced to L.A. would be repaid from the $40 billion projected to be generated over the next 30 years from a half-cent sales tax approved by county voters last year -- a selling point that has resonated with lawmakers.

--Shelby Grad

Map credit: L.A. Times

Comments () | Archives (8)

I'll bet you wouldn't need to borrow any federal money if you started balancing your budgets and stop giving benefits to illegals. I'm thinking LA should worry about a few other more pertinent issues. Besides, I don't think the rest of America is in a real big hurry to help any place that undermines federal law, allows illegals to vote, and thinks "Sanctuary City Status" is a good thing.

This is very very very good news for all of L.A. This plan has been somewhat under the radar of the general public, but they should really pay attention. It has the potential to totally transform the way we live our lives for the better in the county. Can you imagine being able to get to virtually any corner of the county quickly, without using a car or gas, improving air quality in the dirtiest city in the nation, and increasing the liviability/walkability of the entire region?.?. This is a huge win if it happens and the most important thing to happen to this city for a long time. Oh, and don't forget the large numbers of jobs that would be created and the other economic benefits to the city of having a world class transportation network. Let's all cross our fingers for this to happen.

Thanks to La Hood, Mayor Villaraigosa, the MTA and everyone else that is helping to make this happen.

West LA

By the way forget this other post about illegals, and benefits or whatever this guys point is, it has absolutely nothing to do with transportation or anything else this guy is talking about. Why even post that man?


West L.A.

Not only do we need the federal loan guarantees, but we also need increased federal funding grants for these projects as well. No reason to keep making cities take on the whole burden while suburbs still draw huge amounts of federal funds. More federal funding now!

I agree with Eric. I hope this moves forward as smoothly as possible. Once LA has a world class transportation system, it will be a boon to the economy. Good luck!

And Not So Fast, go take your cheap political agenda elsewhere. Your words say more negative things about you then it does about anything else.

G'day all,
greetings from Perth, Western Australia.

While holidaying in your wonderful State a year ago, I also took in a visit to Las Vegas.

Am wondering: Has the idea of providing a high speed train service to LV ever been considered?

Noel H.

Kudos to Villaraigosa!

LA will be a much better place after key, strategic rail lines are in operation. The most important two lines are the Downtown Connector and the Wilshire Blvd. subway to the sea. I think the proposed "Pink Line" is also incredibly important, but that will be apparent once the other rail lines are completed.

I see an LA with a different local vernacular. I hear "What subway line are you taking?" and "How long does it take to walk there?" as opposed to the same old tiring ones you hear of today: "It's gonna be hell because of the traffic."

Let's get the 30/10 plan through!!!

There are two companies, DesertXpress and Las Vegas MagLev, currently vying to provide high-speed passenger service between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Neither is without their flaws, nor has either gathered enough funding to begin construction, but the idea is certainly out there.

There are also, I hear, a number of operators who would like to provide conventional rail service, which hasn't existed since the 1997 cancellation of Amtrak's Desert Wind.


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