The mayor hopes he can convince lawmakers that his plan would not only benefit taxpayers but also serve as a template for creating transit options and generating jobs in other places, perhaps even in their own districts.
"My hope is we're going to be able to convince them that this is the only way for us to address our infrastructure needs, particularly when their priority is cutting the deficit," Villaraigosa said.
He still has a lot going for him. The Obama
administration is enthusiastic about his initiative. Another key supporter, Sen. Barbara Boxer
(D-Calif.), who chairs the Senate committee that will write the next big transportation bill, survived a tough electoral challenge. And Florida Republican John Mica
, who is in line to chair the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, considers the mayor's proposal the kind of innovative financing that should be explored, according to an aide.
Villaraigosa's 30/10 plan seeks federal loans and subsidies to build a dozen projects in 10 years, instead of the 30 years envisioned when Los Angeles County voters passed Measure R, a half-cent sales tax for transportation, in 2008. Included in those plans are a long-sought rail extension to Los Angeles International Airport
, a Gold Line light-rail extension through the San Gabriel Valley and busways in the San Fernando Valley.
Another project is the 9.5-mile subway extension that would run along the Wilshire Corridor from the Purple Line's Wilshire-Western station to the Veterans Affairs' West Los Angeles Medical Center. The L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
board selected that alignment