Graphic: Metro receiving record amount of federal $s

NewStarts

Above is a new chart from Metro on the amount of federal New Starts funding that Metro has received annually since 1993 — the year Metro was formed. New Starts is a grant program run by the Federal Transit Administration to help local agencies build large, expensive transit projects.

The chart comes at an interesting time. Metro is in the process of applying for $1.2 billion in New Starts funds to be combined with Measure R funds to build the Purple Line Extension’s second section between Wilshire/La Cienega and Century City. (Section 1 will run between Wilshire/Western and Wilshire/La Cienega with heavy construction starting soon). Metro is also seeking a $307 million low-interest loan from the federal TIFIA program for Section 2.

The New Starts application is going well. The Federal Transit Administration recently gave Metro approval to begin the engineering phase of Section 2 for the Purple Line Extension — a very positive sign. Assuming the New Starts funds are approved, that would mean that Metro would be receiving more than $300 million in New Starts funds annually.

As you can see on the above chart, $300 million each year would be considerably more than Metro currently is receiving. The primary reason for that: the Measure R half-cent sales tax increase approved by nearly 68 percent of Los Angeles County voters enabled Metro to seek matching federal funds.

4 replies

  1. What the heck happened from 2010 to 2013? This was during the time period when Villariagosa was flying to DC every other week to try to get America Fast Forward loans. Did they forget to apply for New Starts funding during that period?

    • The only project eligible during those times was the Expo Phase II Line. They choose not to apply for funds there, because they thought it might slow down the project and they didn’t want to hurt their chances for the Purple Line and Regional Connector funds.

  2. When are you going to start being a little more concerned about people that live in the San GABRIEL Valley. You have to come from the east to go west. The Gold Line is behind schedule because you’re doing all the
    improvements to the West. As a person that has no choice but to take public transit daily, all I have is Foothill, Metro or Metrolink.

    • Hi Myrna;

      The Gold Line project is on time and on budget. Construction is scheduled to conclude in September. At that time, the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority will begin the process of handing the project over to Metro. Testing and training of new train operators and other key personnel will begin and the line is scheduled to open in the first half of 2016.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source