Thursday, May 26, 2011


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Contact Denny Zane, executive director of Move LA, 310-570-5870, or Gloria Ohland, 323-222-5508

TIFIA to be folded into America Fast Forward, with funding increased to $1 billion a year
LOS ANGELES — Move LA applauds U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and the Environment and Public Works Committee she chairs for the announcement Wednesday that the committee is drafting a federal transportation bill that would include an expanded TIFIA loan program as well as guaranteed funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects.

Boxer talked to reporters after she and a bipartisan coalition of committee members issued a joint statement about their progress. Issuing the statement with Boxer were Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), ranking member of the EPW committee, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, and Senator David Vitter (RLA), ranking member of the subcommittee.

Boxer said the committee is planning a $339.2 billion bill, to be called Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), which would fund the federal transportation program at current levels plus inflation, and increase TIFIA funding from the current level of $110 million a year to $1 billion a year. The TIFIA program would keep its name but be folded into a larger program called America Fast Forward — based on Los Angeles’ 30-10 plan to accelerate transit projects with lowcost loans and low-interest bonds from the federal government.

TIFIA funding is expected to leverage an additional $30 billion a year in private investment, which Boxer said would increase funding for transportation infrastructure over the life of the bill to almost $500 billion.

“At Move LA are we are very pleased that a bi-partisan group of four Senators with very different political views have come together in a difficult political environment to support investment in transportation infrastructure,” said Move LA Executive Director Denny Zane. “Move LA and its business-labor-environmental coalition, working with LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LA Metro, played an important role in initiating and formulating the America Fast Forward program. A big congratulations to the Mayor for his exceptional advocacy on our behalf in Washington DC.

“We are very pleased that the 30-10 plan has ‘grown up’ to become not only a good idea but a national program,” Zane added. “America Fast Forward will leverage private investment in projects that create jobs but will not exacerbate the federal deficit over the long term.”

Boxer said that she’s still considering including an infrastructure bank in the bill and that she is hoping for a six-year bill. But she acknowledged that a two-year option is still very much in the mix. Boxer also reiterated her support for indexing the gas tax to inflation in order to increase Highway Trust Fund revenues, but she acknowledged that it is a non-starter.

In their joint statement the Senators said that, “Our goal is to attain the optimum achievable authorization length depending on the resources available. It is critical that this be done in a way that does not increase the deficit and can achieve bipartisan support.” Boxer said the committee plans to start hearings on the final draft of the bill in two weeks and to mark it up before the July 4 recess.

Move LA is the nonprofit business-labor-environmental coalition that helped ensure passage of Measure R in 2008. Move LA’s mission is to build a broad constituency that will advocate for the development of a comprehensive, diverse, robust, clean, and financially

Short video of the Expo Line at La Brea

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

National Transportation and TOD Experts Scott Bernstein and GB Arrington Keynote Move LA’s 3rd Annual Transportation Roundtable June 21

Scott Bernstein helped create the national coalition responsible for the landmark 1991 intermodal transportation bill ISTEA, and the “affordability index” often cited by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan as a way to measure the true cost of commuting and impact of high gas prices on where people choose to live. Scott is founder and president of the national nonprofit Center for Neighborhood Technology, winner of the MacArthur Foundation Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. CNT’s work on TOD in older communities offers important lessons for ensuring the 30-10 plan and America Fast Forward accelerate both transit and community investment.
GB Arrington is principal practice leader for PB Placemaking, where he leads PB’s global TOD practice and has directed more than 125 TOD plans, including the Daniel Burnham Award-winning plan to transform Tysons Corner, VA, into America’s largest TOD. Before joining PB, GB charted a new direction for Portland, Oregon’s transit agency and helped make Portland an exemplar for the integration of transit investments and land use planning. He is currently advising LA Metro and the cities of LA and Beverly Hills on TOD strategies for the Westside subway extension with the goal of creating more value and less impact on communities.
The day’s discussion topics include:
  • 9 a.m. Sustaining the momentum of 30-10 and America Fast Forward
  • 10 a.m. Ensuring there’s money to operate LA’s expanded transit system
  • 11 a.m. TOD is key to a truly successful transit system, but how do we ensure it creates housing affordability?

  • National Transportation and TOD Experts Scott Bernstein and GB Arrington Keynote Move LA’s 3rd Annual Transportation Roundtable June 21

    1 p.m. How can we ensure Measure R creates jobs for community members — is it time to start thinking about Measure R 2?

Monday, May 16, 2011


Even as transit agencies are cutting back around the country due to the bad economy, LA’s rail expansion program is moving ambitiously forward — thanks to the Measure R half-cent sales tax. The LA Times reports that next year, for the first time ever in LA, there will be three rail projects under construction at the same time: Expo to Culver City, the Gold Line to Azusa, and Crenshaw/LAX. (The link to the Times story is below).

The chart above, from a presentation made to Move LA’s Leadership Board by LA Metro last month, shows there would be five lines under construction next year, and eight lines by 2013, if the 30-10 plan (to use low-interest loans and bonds from the federal government to complete all projects within the decade) goes into effect.

The LA Times noted that transit watchers across the country say this region has become the prime example of how to raise money for rail. The Times quoted Brookings Institution spokesman Adie Tomer: “You have this archetype of LA as the highway city of America. Really, in fact, voters are looking to invest in a mode outside of driving . . . All of a sudden you have this really big powerful place that’s not just changing mind-sets about who they are but has the potential to dramatically remake the way you get around it. [This opportunity] is going to be watched across the country.”