By Richard Simon, May 6, 2014
Tail tracks (far left and far right) and pocket (center rails) at the end of the line in the North Hollywood Station in 2003.
With House Republicans proposing spending cuts for new transit
projects, Los Angeles officials will have their work cut out to secure
$200 million in federal funds next year for a subway extension to Los
Angeles' Westside and a downtown tunnel to link light-rail lines.
House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday proposed $1.7 billion
nationwide for new transit projects, down from $1.9 billion provided
this year. The Obama administration has proposed $2.5 billion.
The bill also provides no money for high-speed rail projects, a
provision sought by congressional Republican critics of the California
The proposed spending cut comes after annual public
transit ridership last year reached its highest level since 1956,
according to the American Public Transportation Assn.
Hamparian, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
director of federal affairs, said county officials would work to
increase the amount when the House committee acts on the bill in coming
weeks or to win approval for a higher amount from the Senate, where Sen.
Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) sits on the Appropriations Committee.
may be that the Senate is going to come in with a solid number that
fully funds the program, and we don’t have a problem," Hamparian said.
"But the bottom line is, a low number adds uncertainty, and we don’t
MTA is seeking $100 million each for extending
the subway from Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue to Wilshire and La
Cienega Boulevard and building a downtown tunnel to link the Gold Line
from Pasadena and East L.A. to the Blue Line from Long Beach and the
Expo Line from Culver City.
Each project is to receive $65 million in federal funds this year.
determined to get these projects built, on time and on budget,"
Hamparian said. "Los Angeles County voters have repeatedly stepped up to
fund these projects, and we look forward to Congress meeting us halfway
to get these great American infrastructure projects built."
proposed spending bill would provide no money for high-speed rail; but
Dan Richard, chairman of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, said
the agency wasn’t expecting any federal funds this year.