Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

For Immediate Release:
February 20, 2008  
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553

Boxer Visits Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension Project  

Los Angeles, CA – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today visited the construction site of a federally supported transportation project that will extend the Metro Gold Line to connect downtown Los Angeles with East L.A.

Senator Boxer said, "The people of Los Angeles know gridlock, traffic congestion and poor air quality all too well, so I am proud to have helped secure federal funds to support this project which will ease congestion, reduce air pollution and improve our daily lives."

The Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension Project, a six-mile light rail project that includes 1.8 miles of tunnel and eight new stations, will connect Los Angeles Union Station with East Los Angeles via Little Tokyo/Art District and Boyle Heights.  Senator Boxer has helped secure more than $460 million in federal funding for the project, including nearly $180 million over the past two years.  The $898.8 million project is within budget, on time, and is expected to be completed in 2009.

Boxer was joined by U.S. Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles County Supervisors Gloria Molina, Yvonne Braithwaite Burke and Zev Yaroslavsky, as well as Metro CEO Roger Snoble.

Representative Roybal-Allard said, "The Eastside Extension, the newest spoke in LA's growing transportation rail system, is an example of a critical federal investment which will help get Angelenos out of their cars and result in dramatic benefits for transit-dependent communities.  With this direct federal assistance, Los Angeles is reconnecting to its past by using rail to help solve our communities' growing transportation challenges."

Mayor Villaraigosa said, "People need and deserve to get from place to place in a timely manner, and the Eastside Extension will help achieve this because it will offer a convenient and reliable alternative to the snarling traffic on the City's freeways.  The Eastside Extension will transform this community and put us that much closer to having a real network of transit in Los Angeles that allows residents from all communities to have  faster and convenient access to their jobs, schools, and recreational opportunities."

Supervisor Molina said, "We are thrilled to have Sen. Barbara Boxer with us today to celebrate the progress we've made so far on the Eastside Extension.  This long-awaited light rail line will connect East Los Angeles to the rest of the county's light rail system.  What's more, it will relieve traffic congestion considerably by getting thousands of people out of their cars and into Metro's mass transit network.  The Eastside Extension was the vision of the late Rep. Ed Roybal – a mentor of mine – and I am very proud to help make his dream become a reality."