Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa advocated his “30/10” plan to accelerate transit project construction at a roundtable event Tuesday he co-chaired with U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer.
Boxer said: “As we develop the new transportation law, we have the opportunity to reform current programs to leverage resources, create more jobs and accelerate construction of the transit systems, roads, and other facilities our communities need.”
Boxer, a Democrat, is running for re-election this year against former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina.
Villaraigosa wants to build transit projects that are currently in the region’s 30-year plan within a decade — hence the 30/10 moniker.
He wants to use the federal government to boost the effectiveness of a 30-year sales tax local voters approved in 2008 to finance the projects. Supporters suggest federal assistance through such vehicles as bond interest subsidies, loan guarantees, and direct bridge loans.
“Since no one federal program is large enough to build all 12 of our projects, we need to modify existing programs and create a new paradigm for leveraging local investment,” Villaraigosa said.
The roundtable included representatives from organized labor, local business, and the Brookings Institution.
They recommended increasing the total funding available through the federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan program, and providing greater flexibility for its use to allow financing for more than one project at a time, according to a release from the mayor’s office.
The pending reauthorization of the surface transportation law was noted as a potential vehicle for the program modifications to create mechanisms for the 30/10 model, the release said.