Posted by: Lauren Michele | June 30, 2010

Good News on Transit Funding and Sustainable Communities in LA

At the recent ULI forum in Los Angeles, Senator Barbara Boxer announced that US DOT would admit both Phase 1 and 2 of the “subway to the sea” into the preliminary engineering process and conduct simultaneous environmental review of both project phases, accelerating the project into the federal New Starts program and improving its chances of approval for federal funding.

Boxer also announced Congress would be including a strategy to fund LA’s “30-10” transit initiative in the upcoming reauthorization of the federal transportation bill. The 30-10 initiative proposes to build all 12 rail and bus rapid transit projects funded by the 30-year Measure R spending plan and to do it all in the first 10 years of the program. There are a number of loan and bond programs that allow the federal government to fund single transportation projects, but this is the first example of funding an entire program of transit projects.

Observers at the forum were presented additional evidence that the region could achieve an ambitious Sustainable Communities Strategy.  In addition to the positive transit messaging from Washington, the findings of a recent ULI study identified a long list of economic benefits that California’s SB 375 climate law could deliver through its requirements that the region strive toward a more compact and sustainable urban form.  Attendees, primarily developers and real estate investors, also shared perspectives on a future emphasizing rail and non-motorized transportation, and infill and mixed-use development, TOD, and complete streets programs.


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