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Members of Los Angeles Congressional Delegation urge federal funding for Regional Connector and Purple Line Extension

March 24, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles) and 4 additional members of the Los Angeles Area Congressional Delegation sent a letter urging the House Appropriations Committee to provide at least $330 million to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority in Fiscal Year 2016 for the Downtown Regional Connector and the Westside Purple Line Subway Extension.

“Los Angeles residents have repeatedly voiced their strong support for transportation funding at the ballot box and it is time for Congress to do the same. This crucial investment in transportation infrastructure will improve transportation options for millions of residents, bringing billions of dollars into the Los Angeles economy and creating thousands of jobs over the next decade,” said Congresswoman Bass.

“Angelenos have made it clear that they want a 21st Century transportation system.  These vital federal investments in the Regional Connector and Purple Line Extension would dramatically improve the daily lives of millions of Los Angeles residents,” said Congressman Xavier Becerra. “I urge my colleagues to move forward with these common-sense upgrades to our city’s public transit system that will benefit the local economy and keep Los Angeles on the move.” 

“Metro applauds the inclusion of $330 million in President’s Obama’s FY16 budget for Metro’s two existing New Starts project, the Regional Connector and the first section of the Purple Line subway extension and we join our congressional delegation in urging the allocation of this funding that is needed  to complete these important transportation projects,” said Art Leahy, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).

The Downtown Regional Connector will run in Rep. Becerra's district and the Purple Line extension will run in both Rep. Bass and Becerra's districts.

The full text of the letter follows:

Dear Chairman Diaz-Balart and Ranking Member Price:

We are writing to request that funding be included in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (Metro) three New Starts projects: the Regional Connector, the Westside Subway Extension Section 1, and the Westside Subway Extension Section 2.  Specifically, we ask that the Subcommittee provide funding for the three projects at the President’s FY2016 Budget request amount of $115 million for the Regional Connector, $115 million for the Westside Subway Extension (Section 1) and $100 million for the Westside Subway Extension (Section 2). This level of funding is consistent with two existing Full Funding Grant Agreements and the expected Westside Subway Extension Section 2 Full Funding Grant Agreement slated to be executed in FY2016.

Over the last several decades, the residents of Los Angeles County have made a strong financial commitment to the development of improved transportation by voting for local sales tax referendums. Most recently, in 2008, Los Angeles County voters overwhelmingly backed Measure R. This half-cent sales tax will produce over $35 billion for investment in transportation projects over a 30-year period.  The Westside Subway Extension and Regional Connector projects are among the first transit projects that will be financed with a combination of Measure R funds and Federal New Starts funds. 

Metro’s New Starts projects are a critical part of efforts to improve mobility for Los Angeles County’s ten million residents.  We appreciate the subcommittee’s longstanding leadership in appropriating federal funds for transit projects in Los Angeles County and across the nation. 

Rep. Karen Bass
Rep. Xavier Becerra
Rep. Ted Lieu
Rep. Adam Schiff
Rep. Janice Hahn
Rep. Linda Sánchez