Senator Barbara Boxer (D. CA) announced that the Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill that was passed last Thuesday by the Senate Appropriation Committee includes $4 million for metropolitan bus transportation systems projects in the greater Los Angeles area and southern California, and nearly $80 million for the extension of the Los Angeles Metro Gold Line Eastside Light Rail Extension.
The bus system funding will be used to expand bus services, buy vehicles that meet air quality standards, and construct new bus facilities.
“These projects will improve the services for the millions of people who live and work in the state’s metropolitan centers,” Boxer said. “The projects also provide the funds necessary for our bus systems to meet clean air standards. I am very pleased that the Senate recognized their importance.”
The projects approved in the spending bill include: $3 million to assist Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) in its ongoing effort to purchase new, cleaner-burning fuel buses to replace its older fleet. Some funds will be used to construct new bus maintenance facilities, $1 million for Metro Transit Operators Coalition (MTOC) to purchase natural gas, gas/electric hybrid and other alternative fuel vehicles that will help the operators meet federal, state and local air quality standards. The MTOC serves 49 million passengers annually in Commerce, Montebello, Norwalk, Culver City, Gardena, Santa Monica and Torrance.
Of the Gold Line funding, Boxer said, “With these resources, the Gold Line will be extended to help better serve the Los Angeles community,” said Boxer. “I am pleased that the Committee agreed to fund this important Los Angeles area project.”
The appropriation will partially fund the Gold Line Eastside Light Rail extension that will connect Union Station in downtown Los Angeles to the intersection of Pomona and Atlantic Boulevards in East Los Angeles. The project includes eight new stations.The House approved this appropriations bill in June. The bill now goes to the full Senate for approval.