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LA Metro Receives $34.7 Million For Buses, New Bus Station

Agnus Dei Farrant |
October 28, 2011 | 6:16 p.m. PDT

Assistant News Editor

Mayor Villaraigosa with Metro employees, holding 2010's transit grant check (Photo by Kiran Kazalbash).
Mayor Villaraigosa with Metro employees, holding 2010's transit grant check (Photo by Kiran Kazalbash).
City and federal officials announced Friday afternoon that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) gave $34.7 million in transit grants to Los Angeles Metro. The city will use the funds to purchase 60 energy-efficient compressed natural gas buses and construct a new Patsaouras Plaza Bus Station next to Union Station.

The new station grant was the nation's largest FTA Livability Grant Initiative grant. The buses grant was the nation's fourth-largest FTA State of Good Repair grant.

The new Patsaouras station will be connected to downtown LA's Union Station and serve El Monte Busway passengers.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was joined by Metro CEO Art Leahy and FTA Deputy Administrator Therese McMillan at the press conference outside Metro's downtown headquarters. Fifteen Metro employees and two buses set the backdrop for the speakers.

Officials made the announcement and called for Congress to pass President Barack Obama's American Jobs Act which proposed investments in transportation.

McMillan said the act would deliver more than $400 million to modernize local bus and transit facilities, and $1 billion for transportation improvements statewide.

"We know the needs are out there, and we know that the need for good jobs is out there," McMillan said. "The project we're announcing today will help to create or sustain upwards of 1,000 jobs. Add to that another 4,000 jobs connected with Metro and the state [Department of Transportation's] ongoing work to relieve traffic congestion on LA's famously crowded freeways."

In a press release, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood also called for Congress to pass the transportation portion of the act to create jobs and modernize transportation systems.

“Investing in America’s transit systems, rails, roads, ports and airports is the perfect way to generate tens of thousands of construction-related jobs and put more money into the pockets of working Americans,” LaHood said.

The Senate is set to vote on the transportation proposals next week.

According to a press release, the grants are part of a plan announced this month by LaHood and FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff to distribute $930 million nationwide. The goal is to rebuild and renovate America's transit infrastructure. California received $126 million for 41 projects.



Reach assistant news editor Agnus-Dei Farrant here.

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