The following is taken from Metro CEO Art Leahy’s recent testimony before the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit in Washington, D.C.
"To conclude my remarks, I want to address an exciting new transportation proposal in Southern California that will depend – in part – on using innovative financing tools– to get hundreds of thousands of people back to work in our region.
As members of this Subcommittee may be aware, the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles has proposed accelerating the transit projects identified in the half cent sales tax adopted by Los Angeles County voters in November of 2008. Specifically, the Mayor is seeking federal support to permit these transit projects to be built within 10 years, not the 30 years outlined in Measure R, the half-cent sales measure.
Similarly, I believe our highway projects identified in Measure R are ripe for innovative financing and public private partnerships that serve the public good and make economic sense.
Tomorrow, at a MTA Board subcommittee meeting back in Los Angeles, I will recommend to our full Board of Directors to support what has become known as the 30/10 plan. I believe the benefits we can realize from this plan will be great for the region and the nation and will demonstrate the importance of leveraging a strong local commitment with important federal support to accelerate the twelve transit projects identified in Measure R.
In testimony offered last month before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the Mayor of Los Angeles cited the benefits of accelerating the transit Measure R’s transit program– which included an annual reduction of over 568,000 pounds of mobile source emissions, 10.3 million fewer gallons of gasoline used, 77 million more transit boardings and 208 million fewer vehicle miles traveled annually.
In addition to the acceleration of transit projects, I also believe that accelerating the construction schedule of highway projects included Measure R is vital for our region."
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Raffi Haig Hamparian
Government Relations Director
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