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Los Angeles News

Subway Projects Get First Federal Funds
Posted by Alex Nochez on Jan 22, 2014 - 2:20:03 AM

LOS ANGELES — Two Metro projects are expected to receive $130 million dollars from a new federal spending bill passed on Friday, January 17.
Federal funds headed to Purple Line extension.


Senator Diane Feinstein announced in a press release that the Purple Line Extension, also known as the “Subway to the Sea” project, and the Regional Connector Transit Project would be receiving funding under the federal government's New Starts program, which is designed to fund local transit programs all across the country.


Each project would receive $65 million to begin their projects, but these funds do not represent the full amount required to complete each of these projects. The Purple Line extension, according to Metro, is budgeted at $2.86 billion for the first phase of its project, which comprises about 3.9 of the expected 9 miles of the extension. The total expected cost of the project is about $6.3 billion. The Regional Connector project has a budget of $1.42 billion.


From the New Starts program, the Purple Line extension will receive $1.25 billion, while the Regional Connector is expected to get $675 million. The rest of the funds would come from the profits of Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase passed in 2008, and from the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA), which also funds transportation projects by providing credit assistance derived from federal funds and private investments.


Senator Feinstein said that the initial $130 million represents a “down payment” before a signing between Metro and the federal government in the form of a “Full Funding Grant Agreement” meant to commit the previously mentioned $675 million and $1.25 billion. The senator will also reportedly help secure the loan funding under TIFIA to cover a further $160 million for the Region Connector project and $870 million for the Purple Line extension.


“These two subway projects are key to transforming mass transit for Angelinos, and they have been top priorities of mine for years,” said Senator Feinstein in a press release.


The Purple Line extension will create seven new stops, which will end in the Westwood area. The first phase will have new stops at Wilshire and La Brea, Wilshire and Fairfax and Wilshire and La Cienega when the project is completed in 2023. The Regional Connector project will build an underground light-rail line from the Little Tokyo/Arts District Station on the Gold Line to the 7th Street/Metro Center Station, building three new stations along that path. That construction has an estimated completion date of 2020.


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