L.A.'s Bold Transit Moves

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's plan to cram 30 years of transit projects into one decade is gathering steam in Washington -- and other cities are watching closely.

"The Mayor has argued his case persuasively, emphasizing the project's environmental and economic significance along with its mobility and livability benefits for Angelenos. The transit expansion itself, even if not accelerated, has much to recommend it: 200 million fewer driving miles annually, 570,000 fewer pounds of emissions annually, and 80 million more transit trips each year. If accelerated, the plan would create 170,000 construction jobs over ten years, contributing to the economic recovery of a county with almost 600,000 unemployed workers. Additionally, 30/10 would save $3.8 billion by avoiding cost inflation already calculated into the transportation plan's price tag while steering clear of the nasty parochial disputes that can derail a project when a transit system is expanded in piecemeal fashion. Finally, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation estimates that the non-accelerated transit expansion would increase federal tax revenue by $2 billion, state tax revenue by $800 million, and local government revenue by $60 million over 30 years. An accelerated plan would likely have a similar fiscal impact but more quickly, providing revenue at a time when cash-strapped governments are starved for resources."

One of the most important elements of this plan is that is proposes to be revenue-neutral for the federal government.

Full Story: L.A. Gets Moving on Transit

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