Westside Subway Extension on D.C. Lobbying Agenda

Supporters of the subway expansion are seeking federal funding, as well as financial assistance for other projects.

The will be on the agenda when a delegation of 200 local civic leaders, business executives and transit activists travel to Washington, D.C. Monday for an annual lobbying trip geared towards winning federal funds for Los Angeles-area projects.

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who also serves as chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Board of Directors, will be in attendance. The delegates will meet with senior officials from President Barack Obama’s administration, California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield. The trip is being led by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

The group is expected to push hard for passage of a surface transportation bill currently stalled in congress. A section of the bill could help L.A. County accelerate a dozen local transportation projects, including a continuation of Metro’s Purple Line. As part of the Westside Subway Extension, federal funding would help finance the expansion of the Purple Line subway to Beverly Hills, Century City and the Veterans Administration Medical Center west of the 405 Freeway. The subway currently starts in downtown L.A. and ends at Wilshire and Western boulevards.

Other issues on the delegates’ agenda include increasing the number of customs and border patrol agents at the Los Angeles International Airport and advancing a state project designed to move water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to Southern California. 

This report was compiled with information from City News Service.

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