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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Obama budget proposal includes New Start funds for L.A.'s Purple Line, Regional Connector projects

President Barack Obama's proposed budget includes $130 million to help fund the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (LACMTA) Purple Line Extension and Regional Connector projects, LACMTA officials announced on the agency's website yesterday.

If approved by Congress, the funding would represent the first time both projects would receive federal dollars, they said. The money would help supplement Measure R funds and would come from the federal New Starts program.

Formal agreements detailing the projects' New Starts funding are expected to be signed between LACMTA and the Federal Transit Administration later this year, agency officials said.

The Regional Connector is a 1.9-mile underground light-rail line that would be built in downtown Los Angeles and connect with the Gold, Blue and Expo lines to provide one-seat rides for most passengers through the downtown area. The Purple Line project would extend the existing Purple Line subway from its terminus at Wilshire and Western for 9.5 miles to Westwood.

Utility relocations are under way for both projects and LACMTA officials hope to start construction within the next year, they said.

For a detailed description of the overriding transportation elements within the president's budget proposal, follow this link.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/11/2013