Obama budget includes millions for LA County subway, light rail projects

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In his proposed budget, President Barack Obama makes a major commitment to mass transit. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says there’s cash for Southern California projects — if Congress approves.

The budget includes $50 million for the so-called "Subway to the Sea." It would help build the transit line under Wilshire Boulevard from Mid-City to the Veterans Administration complex in West L.A.

There’s also $31 million for the Regional Connector. It would link the Gold, Blue and Expo light rail lines under downtown.

This is the first year the federal government has offered what it calls “new start” funding for the two transit projects. But before the check arrives in the mail, Congress must approve the president's budget.

Local officials are counting on the federal government to pick up about half the cost of both projects. Most of the rest of the funding would come from a local sales tax approved by the voters, plus some state funding.

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