The state of California could receive US$1 billion in state funds for the completion of important transit projects that need to be done by the 2028 Olympics. The state’s governor, Gavin Newson announced the latest spending plan. The projects, including the subway extension to the Westside, a light rail line in South Los Angeles, and an underground connector linking multiple rail lines beneath downtown, are a part of Eric Garcetti’s “28 by ’28″ plan. Although any transit agency in the state would be eligible to apply for the funding, a case would need to be made on how the project was critical to the delivery of the Olympics according to the governor.
In response to a huge budget surplus, Governor Newsom is proposing an extra US$11 billion for transportation in the next fiscal year. This would bring the total to US$29 billion with over a third of the new money going toward California’s bullet train. Under the state’s new proposed budget, Metro and other transit agencies would also have an opportunity to apply for grants from US$1 billion set aside by Newsom for “priority” transit projects. Garcetti, the Los Angeles Mayor, welcomed Newsom’s announcement, saying in a statement that the money would help Los Angeles create “a greener, more livable city” for years to come.
Washington expressed gratitude for Newsom’s revised budget. The state said it would provide funding not only for rail transit but also for the electrification of buses and trucks and for the construction of active transportation projects; infrastructure that serves bicyclists and pedestrians. “While it is too early to speculate on which specific projects might benefit from the funding, Metro looks forward to working with the Legislature as they now begin their deliberations on the state budget,” said Phil Washington, the CEO of Metro. “To have a chance at completion by 2028, major construction on such projects would need to begin by 2023.”