Like some people in LA, members of the Washington establishment laughed at Mayor Villaraigosa when he went to DC to ask for a federal loan to finance SoCal rail projects. The mayor wants to build numerous rail and busway lines in 10 years, instead of 30, and argued that LA County could pay back the feds once sales tax money, committed to transit through Measure R, began rolling in. But that kind of thing is just not done. In the Washington Post, columnist Harold Meyerson writes it should be, and it could be. While there's no federal infrastructure bank yet, "alterations to some federal Build America bond guarantees are under consideration. Some of the Transportation Department's acronym-laden programs may in fact allow for secure loans." If the mayor manages to pull this off, it could jump start rail projects across the country. Locally, Meyerson says it would create more than 150,000 construction jobs and save "nearly $4 billion by avoiding the presumably higher costs of labor and materials in, say, 2030." To say nothing of taking the subway to Westwood this decade.
· The Road to America's Recovery Starts in LA [Wash Post]
· Crenshaw Subway Station is On the Agenda [Curbed LA]