Metro CEO Art Leahy today testified in Washington D.C. in front of the U.S. Senate’s Environment & Public Works Committee; his testimony is above.
The topic was an important one for the agency: the expanded TIFIA loan program approved by Congress in last year’s multi-year transportation spending bill. The program allows transit agencies such as Metro to have access to low-interest loans to help build big projects. As Leahy states, Metro plans to seek up to $3.5 billion in these type of loans to build road and transit projects, the reason it’s important for Congress to keep the program going in future years.
You can also watch the committee meeting online; Leahy’s testimony begins at the one hour, 35 minute mark.
Here is the update to Metro staff from Leahy:
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer Praises Metro at Senate EPW Hearing on TIFIA Program
Today, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who chairs the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, praised our agency’s efforts with respect to the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program at a hearing entitled “Oversight Hearing on Implementation of MAP-21’s TIFIA Program Enhancements.”
I was honored to testify at the hearing and convey to Chairman Boxer, Ranking member David Vitter (R-LA) and members of the committee that TIFIA helps leverage local transportation dollars to build highway and transit projects that are designed to enhance mobility and the quality of life for all Americans. With respect to Los Angeles County, I cited the TIFIA loan we recently executed for the Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail Project and the two TIFIA loans we are currently negotiating with the U.S. Department of Transportation for the Regional Connector and Purple Line Extension transit projects. I also emphasized the favorable job creation impact these projects will have in Los Angeles County and nationally.
It was an honor to testify at the same hearing where newly confirmed Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx offered his testimony in support of the TIFIA program. Please find here a link to the testimony I offered on behalf of our agency, as well as links to the testimony offered by other panelists, opening statements offered by Chairman Boxer and Ranking member Vitter, and an archived webcast of the hearing.
We are deeply appreciative of all the work Senator Boxer, as Chairman of the EPW Committee, has done to advance our America Fast Forward initiative. Specifically, the innovative finance portion of MAP-21, which Senator Boxer authored, is entitled America Fast Forward and includes a nearly ten-fold increase in funding authorized for the TIFIA program.