Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa during a trip to Washington D.C., Feb. 23, 2010.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s plan to hasten construction of the "Subway to the Sea" may shift into express mode. The mayor will be the star witness at a Congressional hearing this week.
It doesn’t hurt to have friends in high places.
Two weeks ago, L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa made the rounds on Capitol Hill, asking the federal government to guarantee a bridge loan that would speed up construction of a subway from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica. His pitch: "What if we could accelerate the 30-year investment into ten?"
The lobbying paid off.
Fellow California Democrat Barbara Boxer chairs the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. On Thursday, that committee convenes a hearing on “local partnerships to accelerate transportation benefits.” The mayor of Los Angeles will testify.
But that’s only one stop on what could be a fits-and-starts journey. The federal government has never “co-signed” before on this kind of loan.