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Hillary Clinton on LA Public Transportation

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In yesterday's LAist interview with Hillary Clinton, we had to ask about public transportation. Clinton said she would increase federal funding for public transit by $1.5 billion per year, link funding to local land use policies that encourage mixed-use and transit-oriented development (discouraging sprawl) and invest $1 billion into intercity passenger rail (think high speed rail from Los Angeles to San Francisco, or more locally, the MagLev concept from Orange County to Las Vegas).

Speaking of federal funding, the LA Times reported yesterday that the Federal Transit Administration is awarding $23.3 million towards the funding of bus lanes for a portion of Wilshire Blvd. on the Westside. Not including Beverly Hills, the lanes will go from the "Santa Monica-Los Angeles boundary to Valencia Street, which is just west of downtown Los Angeles." The project is expected to save 12-minutes from Santa Monica to downtown and be completed in early 2011.

A writer at MetroRiderLA contends this project is a waste if Beverly Hills, or "the source of delays," is not included: "... the part through Beverly Hills is by far the worst, by far the slowest, and, along with the 405, the source of the delays along Wilshire."