Associated Press looks under the hood of Metro’s 30/10 Initiative to build transit quicker

This map shows the projects that would be funded by the 30/10 Initiative. Click above to see a larger image.

The 30/10 Initiative got some nice coverage this weekend from local AP scribe Daisy Nguyen. Her story hit the wires today and I see it’s already been picked up by the Washington Post.

Attentive readers already know that the 30/10 plan proposes to use federal loans, grants and other financing to build a dozen Measure R projects in 10 years instead of 30. Excerpt from the story:

But with federal and state transportation funds dwindling due to a reduction in gas tax revenue, experts say the time is right to test innovative ideas in transportation financing.

“The national government should help cities that are helping themselves and take advantage of these bold plans to transform how these places operate and function,” said Robert Puentes, a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program.


Transit agencies struggling for a bigger share of federal and state funds are paying attention.

The Regional Transportation Authority of Chicago faces funding shortages that restrict spending on maintaining and upgrading the system to $2.7 billion over five years, said director Steve Schlickman. Chicago operates the nation’s second largest transit system.

“Hopefully other metropolitan areas will wake up and realize that virtually every major city in this country is underinvesting in their infrastructure,” Schlickman said. “We can’t rely on the federal government, we have to rely on all levels of government.”

There are many other cities, counties and regions that have passed sales taxes and bonds in recent years that could benefit from a 30/10 program. Articles like this one are important for helping get the word out. Coincidentally, Move LA activist Joel Epstein wrote that exact thing at Huffington Post on Friday.