Congress may finally have a new multi-year transportation spending bill

The story has been developing throughout the day — it seems the Senate and House have struck a deal to pass the first multi-year bill since 2005. That bill had expired in 2009 and been given a number of short-term extensions while Congress bickered over the new bill.

It’s never over until it’s over, but the Los Angeles Times is reporting that the new bill includes a key provision of the America Fast Forward plan championed by Metro and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who came up with the idea. The provision would expand the federal loan program known as TIFIA that could help Metro accelerate transit projects by borrowing against future Measure R revenues.

I’ll post more when we get a summary from Metro’s government relations team.