Today, with two historic votes, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board gave the green light to two major Measure R-funded 30/10 projects: the Westside Subway and Regional Connector.
It's hard to overstate the importance of this progress for Los Angeles, both in terms of job creation and sustainable development. In the words of Genevieve Giuliano, director of USC's METRANS Transportation Center, "This is a big moment."
When I campaigned on the promise of the Subway to the Sea, nobody took it seriously. They said it was just a dream and it would never happen. But today, it's not a question of IF we will build it, just WHEN.
To be fair, the subway won't get to the sea, yet. With Measure R, the voters supported a subway to Westwood, and that's what got approved today. You can't get to the sea without first getting to Westwood - today's vote is major progress. My ultimate goal remains to get the Westside Subway all the way to the ocean, and when we find funding for it, we will build it.
After today's vote, my top priority is to accelerate the construction of the Westside Subway, Regional Connector, and the 10 other Measure R transit projects from a 30 year to a 10 year schedule with the 30/10 initiative.
A year ago people thought 30/10 would never happen either. But last week, thanks to our persistence, and with the invaluable leadership of Senator Boxer, we got a down payment on 30/10 with a $546 million federal loan.
These funds are crucial to our 30/10 financing plan. They will help get the Crenshaw/ LAX Corridor line built, and enable us to maximize the effectiveness of the voter-approved Measure R funds we collect from Angelenos.
So, as they say, it's all happening. Ideas about the future of Los Angeles that were once dismissed as dreams are now becoming realities.
Today's historic votes, and last week's announcement of the first federal funding commitment for 30/10, are concrete steps towards our goal of using 30/10 to double the size of our rail system and build a real, sustainable transit network in the next ten years.
I am proud to have cast historic votes for the Westside Subway and Regional Connector today, and I'm grateful to Richard Katz, Mike Feuer, Mark Ridley Thomas, Denny Zane, Jaime de la Vega, and the robust coalition of business, labor, environmentalists, and neighborhood leaders who made today possible.
Let's keep up the hard work of building the world-class transit network Los Angeles deserves.
To learn more about 30/10, watch this great video.