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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."

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As to other buslines, Jason Burns at revisited the Valley in 1988 when talks of what is now the Orange Line were making headlines at the New York Times. And in downtown, the Broadway revitalization effort talks of some streetcar action.

Meanwhile, tonight is the last meeting for the public to learn about the latest in the Westside Extension ("subway to the sea"). The meeting gives a chance for the people to publicly comment on the results of the early scoping process, the emerging alternatives, and next steps for the study. Tonight's meeting is in West Hollywood and more meetings regarding the next steps in the process will be forthcoming in future months.

The Times also reports that the FTA "committed $50 million next year to continue preliminary work on a planned 22.7-mile extension of Metrolink commuter rail service that would connect the cities of Riverside and Perris."

What's not getting funded is whatever would if Proposition 91 (Transportation Funds. Constitutional Amendment and Statute) passed in the election yesterday. At 87% of precincts reporting, a near two-thirds of voters said no.

Photo by ~db~ via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

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