Boxer also announced that the Federal Transit Authority at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has agreed to accelerate consideration of the Red Line Westside Extension - also known as "Subway to the Sea" - by admitting the entire 9.3-mile project into its preliminary engineering process, and by conducting the environmental review of all segments of the project simultaneously instead of doing it in multiple phases.
Senator Boxer said, "Secretary LaHood understands the opportunity to make the 30/10 vision a reality here and around the country. The Secretary is also working with me on finding every opportunity under current law so we can accelerate 30/10 now. DOT's decision to expedite consideration of the Subway to the Sea is a great step forward, and will help ensure that as we work to accelerate funding, DOT will work to have this project ready."
Text of Secretary LaHood's letter to Senator Boxer is below:
THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20590
June 3, 2010
The Honorable Barbara Boxer
Committee on Environment and Public Works
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Madam Chairman:
Thank you for your leadership in moving forward on comprehensive transportation reform and a new surface transportation authorization. As we have discussed, I am committed to working with you in your role as Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee to find creative, effective ways to accelerate transportation investments that will improve air quality, lessen traffic congestion, and reduce oil consumption.
Over the past several months, I have been pleased to work with you and with Mayor Villaraigosa on the "30/10" plan. Los Angeles has proposed a comprehensive, long-range transportation plan and the sustainable funding stream to accomplish it. Under 30/10, the construction of the projects could be accelerated through a partnership with the Federal Government, thus reducing the construction phase of the program. This would create needed jobs immediately, and would allow the citizens of Los Angeles to reap the benefits of these transit investment -- cleaner air, reduced congestion, lower construction costs and improvements in the quality of life - much sooner than would otherwise be possible.
I share your belief that the 30/10 model -- leveraging a comprehensive long-range transportation plan and a sustainable local funding stream -- has the potential to transform the way we invest in transportation projects across the Nation. As we move toward a clean energy economy, improvements to the transit system also could decrease our gasoline consumption and carbon emissions, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
I can assure you that the U.S. Department of Transportation is committed to working with you to explore this promising approach in the next transportation reauthorization bill.
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