Here’s the good word from Metro’s government relations staff:
Today, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, led by Chair, Senator Boxer, unanimously passed a two-year Transportation Reauthorization titled Moving Ahead for Progress (MAP-21). The bill radically alters federal funding for transportation throughout the United States. The bill’s summary, text and the archived webcast can be found here.
The bill will now head to the Senate Floor, if and when the Senate Finance Committee allocates the extra $12-$13 Billion that is needed to pay for the bill.
Metro has been working very closely with Senator Boxer, Chair of Senate EPW, and the general structure of the bill is favorable towards many of Metro’s programs and projects.Staff is currently reviewing the full 600 page bill to specifically identify the impacts to Metro.
The bill includes part of the America Fast Forward program created by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and supported by Metro. Specifically, the bill would expand the TIFIA loan program to help local transportation agencies get federal loans or favorable financing to build projects.
It’s not the full America Fast Forward program, which has a bond component that along with TIFIA would allow for the acceleration of Measure R projects in L.A. County. But it’s something in a bill that doesn’t dramatically, as far as I can tell, expand transportation spending by the federal government.