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$2.1 Billion in Federal Transit Funding for the 'Subway to the Sea' in Los Angeles

Los Angeles will receive its largest-ever federal grant, $1.25 billion, to help fund the Purple Line subway, aka the "Subway to the Sea." Also on its way is an $856 million loan from the TIFIA program.
May 22, 2014, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Yusef El-Mansouri

"A major federal grant of $1.25 billion to extend the 'Subway to the Sea' was received by local officials Wednesday as part of an overall $2.1 billion package made possible by voter approval of the half-cent sales tax in Measure R," reports Rick Orlov.

Funding acquired by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) earlier this week also includes an $856-million low-interest loan for the project, which will extend the existing Purple Line. The loan was made possible by the local sales tax approved by Measure R in 2008 and an America Fast Forward, TIFIA-backed loan. The loan will serve as a local match for the grant, according to Orlov.

For the record, "Subway to the Sea" is a misnomer—left-over from earlier marketing pitches for the line. According to the current plan for the subway, the route would end at the Veterans Administration campus in West Los Angeles.

Steve Hymon also reports on Metro's recent windfall, including additional details about the federal funding acquired for the Purple Line and the Regional Connector.

According to Hymon, the $1.2 billion grant will come from the New Starts program, while the "$856-million loan is coming from the TIFIA program that helps provide low-interest loans backed by the federal government to build new infrastructure; TIFIA helps reduce interest costs."

This is Metro's second big funding win of the year. In February, Metro "secured a $670-million New Starts grant and $160-million TIFIA loan…to help fund construction of the Regional Connector, a 1.9-mile underground light rail line that will connect the Blue Line, Expo Line and Gold Line in downtown Los Angeles to speed trips throughout the county and to downtown."

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Published on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 in Los Angeles Daily News
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