In his third trip to D.C. in a month, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa met with President Barack Obama at the White House today and made a pitch for more federal funding of local transportation projects. For an update from KABC-Ch 7, click here.
Villaraigosa has been seeking congressional support for the "30/10" plan to accelerate the construction of 12 major transit projects in Los Angeles County – including a portion of the Subway to the Sea and a regional connector to link several light rail lines passing through downtown Los Angeles – in 10 years instead of 30 as initially planned.
Villaraigosa has estimated the cost of building the projects over 30 years at $18.5 billion. Accelerating construction to 10 years would reduce the cost to $14 billion, Villaraigosa said.Los Angeles County voters agreed in 2008 to pay for the transportation projects with a half-percent sales tax increase.
Villaraigosa wants the federal government and other entities to help finance the construction now, and agree to be paid back over time. For more background on his trip, click here.
BizFed also has posted more detailed information on the federal "asks" for "30/10" financing mechanisms here.