Senator Boxer's Statement for Signing Ceremony for the Los Angeles Metro Purple Line Extension Project
May 21, 2014
(Remarks as prepared for delivery)
I am so pleased to be here today for this important event. This signing ceremony for the Metro Purple Line Extension project is a great day for Los Angeles, and congratulations to all who have worked so hard to get here.
Los Angeles has made enormous strides to expand transportation options and accelerate construction of projects that will create jobs, improve mobility, and spur economic growth.
The Purple Line Extension is another incredible accomplishment for Los Angeles. In addition to the $1.25 billion Full Funding Grant Agreement, the Purple Line Extension project is also benefiting from a $856 million loan made possible through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program.
In 2012, I was proud to chair the House-Senate conference committee that produced the transportation bill MAP-21. One of the greatest achievements in MAP-21 was the expansion of the TIFIA program.
This was modeled after Los Angeles' 30/10 initiative and began when Los Angeles came to me with the idea for the federal government to provide low interest loans so that cities and states could leverage local resources to accelerate the construction of transportation projects. The success of what you are doing in Los Angeles was crucial to my ability to expand the TIFIA program so that regions across the country can replicate this successful model.
We are seeing additional benefits in California from the expanded TIFIA program, with the Regional Connector project recently receiving a $160 million loan, and the U.S. DOT and the Port of Long Beach will be closing on a TIFIA loan to fund the rebuilding of the Gerald Desmond Bridge this week.
In Congress, our focus now is on finding a way to ensure the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund - millions of jobs and our economic recovery depend on it. Without action, the Highway Trust Fund will run out of money later this summer.
Last week in this room, the Senate EPW Committee unanimously passed a six-year reauthorization of MAP-21. Our bill illustrates how investing in infrastructure can and should be a bipartisan issue.
Now we must work together to find a dependable, bipartisan source of funding for the Highway Trust Fund because a strong transportation system is vital to ensuring the economic competitiveness of the United States.
Congratulations again on this achievement. I look forward to working with all of you to ensure that California has a strong, safe transportation infrastructure.