L.A. leaders urge passage of federal transportation bill
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and a group of business and labor leaders released a letter this week urging Congress' L.A. delegation to help pass a transportation measure they say will create jobs and further the region's aggressive rail expansion.
"Any reduction in funding to our nation's transportation programs will deal a devastating blow to local projects, local jobs and the national recovery," according to a copy of the letter from Villaraigosa's office.
The U.S. Senate recently approved a two-year, $109-billion version of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization bill that would greatly expand a federal loan program that could speed up construction of transit projects in Los Angeles and other cities.
That program is critical to Villaraigosa's campaign to build a dozen transit projects in one decade instead of three.
House and Senate leaders remain deadlocked over the bill, including whether to add a provision expanding offshore oil drilling to generate more money for projects.
-- Ari Bloomekatz
Image: Rendering of a California high-speed rail station. Credit: Los Angeles Times.