The loan was announced back in 2010, but a lot of paperwork goes into securing these things. The good news is that the deal is now officially complete and the money will go a long way toward the $1.75-billion Crenshaw/LAX Line, which is currently out to bid to contractors.
As for the TIFIA loans, this is the program that was greatly expanded in the two-year federal transportation spending bill approved this summer by Congress and signed into law by President Obama. The gist of it: these loans have favorable terms and are well-suited for local transportation projects.
Here’s a statement from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has been advocating for the expansion of TIFIA for the past three years as part of his America Fast Forward initiative:
“With today’s loan approval, Angelenos are one step closer to getting the transportation system they want and deserve. This flexible, low interest loan will help us build a vital link in our expanding public transit system.
“I traveled to Washington, D.C. to push hard for these funds through countless meetings at the White House, at the Capitol, and at the Department of Transportation. This work has clearly paid off and I will to work until the end of my term to ensure Los Angeles can continue to build a 21st Century transportation system.”
Here’s a statement from Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas:
“The Crenshaw/LAX line is the only project in the region to have received a TIFIA loan,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “It is my hope and expectation that this massive infusion of federal funds will enhance the light-rail project in such a way that serves the entire region — speeding passengers to the airport, creating much-needed in the community, and providing the financial flexibility and stability that will see a station located in Leimert Park Village.”
And a statement from Metro Board Chair and Supervisor Mike Antonovich:
“Constructing the Crenshaw/LAX light rail line will bring us one step closer to connecting Los Angeles International Airport to our regional rail system.”
And here is the news release from the U.S. Department of Transportation:
WASHINGTON—U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has approved a $545.9 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan that will enable the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) to advance construction of a new light rail transit line along the Crenshaw corridor that will enhance access to existing transit service throughout Los Angeles.“President Obama called for an America built to last, and this loan program can help us achieve that,” said Secretary LaHood. “This important investment in the future Metro Crenshaw Line will create jobs in Los Angeles, building a major transportation project that will help the regional economy continue to grow and prosper.”The Crenshaw/LAX transit corridor project consists of a new 8.5-mile light rail line and at least six new transit stations with off-street parking. The line will connect existing rail service on the Metro Green Line with the Metro Exposition Line, which recently opened for service, making it easier for low-income residents, seniors and other riders to reach downtown Los Angeles, the Westside, South Bay and the cities of Inglewood, Hawthorne and El Segundo. The project also includes a new transit vehicle maintenance and storage facility.“The TIFIA program goes a long way for communities like Los Angeles that use these loans to leverage additional funding for important projects like expanding light rail, which connects millions of area residents with jobs, while reducing congestion and improving air quality,” said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff.
The TIFIA credit program is designed to fill market gaps and leverage substantial private co-investment by providing supplemental and subordinate capital. Each dollar of federal funds can provide up to $10 in TIFIA credit assistance and support up to $30 in transportation infrastructure investment.
Since its launch, the TIFIA program has helped 27 projects turn $9.2 billion in DOT assistance into $36 billion in infrastructure investment across America. The recently enacted transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), transforms TIFIA into the largest transportation infrastructure loan program in history, making available up to $17 billion in credit assistance for critical infrastructure projects.
The Department’s Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program, which provides credit assistance for infrastructure projects, provided the $545.9 million toward the $1.75 billion Crenshaw/LAX transit corridor project. The TIFIA loan was made possible through a TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) II grant. Projects were selected based on their ability to contribute to the long-term economic competitiveness of the nation, improve the condition of existing transportation facilities and systems, increase livability and create or preserve jobs quickly.