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Sound Transit, L.A. Metro CEOs blast Trump's transit funding cuts

Trump's proposal would slash funds for the agencies' expansion plans.
Photo – L.A. Metro

Sound Transit and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) executives yesterday voiced opposition to President Donald Trump's budget proposal, which would slash funds for the agencies' expansion plans.

In a joint statement, Sound Transit Chief Executive Officer Peter Rogoff and Metro CEO Philip Washington said that the Trump administration's "assertion that our regions can deliver transit solutions for our citizens without federal partnership is uninformed, misguided and unfair."

"The voters of our communities stepped up and voted to tax themselves to provide a path out of punishing congestion," the CEOs said. "For that bold action, they should be rewarded at the federal level, not punished."

Trump's budget proposal said that Los Angeles, Seattle and Denver should realize that "waiting for federal grant funding is not the most efficient way to meet their local transportation needs."

"Federal resources should be focused on making targeted investments that can leverage private sector investment and incentivize the creation of revenue streams where possible," the proposal stated.

Without congressional action, the proposal's most immediate impact on Sound Transit would be the elimination of a $1.17 billion federal commitment for the agency's Lynnwood Link light-rail extension.

The budget proposal also would wipe out federal matching funds for L.A. Metro's Purple Line subway extension.

"If the goal of [the Trump] administration is to build out and repair our crumbling national infrastructure, these proposed cuts will do the opposite," Washington said. "And we plan to fight vigorously through our congressional delegation to see that the cuts are eliminated from the budget."

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More News from 5/26/2017