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Transportation Secretary visits LA to promote infrastructure funding




U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx speaks about a transportation funding grant during a news conference on Capitol Hill, May 21, 2014 in Washington, DC. The news conference was held to announce $1.25 billion in federal funding for extending the Los Angeles Metro Purple Line.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx speaks about a transportation funding grant during a news conference on Capitol Hill, May 21, 2014 in Washington, DC. The news conference was held to announce $1.25 billion in federal funding for extending the Los Angeles Metro Purple Line.
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U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx is in Los Angeles on Tuesday as part of a cross-country trip to advocate for more spending on transit infrastructure. 

He'll be attending a ceremony commemorating the beginning of construction on the new Regional Connector light rail project that will connect transit lines in downtown Los Angeles.

Secretary Foxx says the project is an important one for Los Angeles and the entire country.

"By providing a one-seat ride for people, they can now move more freely through your downtown area without having to do multiple transfers," he says, "That's a big deal."

As far as how to promote more public transportation use in Southern California, Foxx says the first thing you have to do is provide people with options.

"Because once you have the mechanisms in place, be it light rails, or street cars or what have you, then folks have an option other than just getting in the car," he says.

Those alternatives to car travel are going to become increasingly important in the future.

America's population is growing. Over the next 35 years, Foxx says there will be 100 million more people in the United States— many of them coming to Southern California.

"The recipe for [transit] success isn't being built right now," Foxx says.