U.S. Chamber of Commerce President backs Metro’s 30/10 Initiative

Some good news out of Washington D.C. this morning about the 30/10 Initiative — here’s the story from the L.A. Times’ Rich Simon.


“I talked to the mayor yesterday and told him, ‘charge on,’ ” chamber president Thomas J. Donohue said at a Capitol Hill hearing. “We’ll put you on a platform to tell people about it.”

The plan, commonly known as the 30/10 proposal, aims to build a dozen projects in 10 years instead of the originally scheduled 30 years. The Westside subway extension is included in the projects.

Though the mayor’s plan has received local business support, the chamber holds considerable sway with Republican lawmakers from throughout the country who present a potential obstacle to his efforts to secure federal aid because of their drive to rein in federal spending.

I think that last paragraph is key. There have been some expressions of support from Republicans in Congress, but also some Republican reservations about any potential costs to the federal government.

The idea behind 30/10 is to use federal loans and other financing to build the Measure R projects now instead of later. That would likely save construction costs and the federal loans could be paid back with Measure R revenues, which flow into local coffers over time — not all at once.

The 30/10 plan needs to be enshrined in federal law to become a reality and the best chance of that is in the next multi-year transportation spending bill. Congress may tackle that bill this summer.

Categories: Policy & Funding, Projects