October 3, 2012

L.A. Metro receives $545M loan for light rail construction

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has received a $545.9 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan to advance construction of a new light rail transit line along the Crenshaw corridor that will enhance access to existing transit service throughout Los Angeles.

The Crenshaw/LAX transit corridor project consists of a new 8.5-mile light rail line and at least six new transit stations with off-street parking. The line will connect existing rail service on the Metro Green Line with the Metro Exposition Line, which recently opened for service, making it easier for low-income residents, seniors and other riders to reach downtown Los Angeles, the Westside, South Bay and the cities of Inglewood, Hawthorne and El Segundo. The project also includes a new transit vehicle maintenance and storage facility.

The TIFIA credit program is designed to fill market gaps and leverage substantial private co-investment by providing supplemental and subordinate capital. Each dollar of federal funds can provide up to $10 in TIFIA credit assistance and support up to $30 in transportation infrastructure investment.

Since its launch, the TIFIA program has helped 27 projects turn $9.2 billion in DOT assistance into $36 billion in infrastructure investment across America. The recently enacted transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), transforms TIFIA into the largest transportation infrastructure loan program in history, making available up to $17 billion in credit assistance for critical infrastructure projects.

The Department's TIFIA program, which provides credit assistance for infrastructure projects, provided the $545.9 million toward the $1.75 billion Crenshaw/LAX transit corridor project. The TIFIA loan was made possible through a TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) II grant. Projects were selected based on their ability to contribute to the long-term economic competitiveness of the nation, improve the condition of existing transportation facilities and systems, increase livability and create or preserve jobs quickly.

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