In a press release issued yesterday, Congresswoman Maxine Waters announced that she sent a letter to MTA CEO Art Leahy, urging him to seek TIGER funds for the construction of light rail stations in Leimert Park and Westchester on the Crenshaw-LAX Rail Line. Both stations are currently considered “optional” by the MTA at this juncture. The TIGER program is a nationwide competitive grant program that creates jobs by supporting investments in transportation infrastructure.
In the letter, Waters also announced that she is offering two amendments to H.R. 7, the House’s version of the transportation bill, which will be considered this week. One amendment would add $1 billion in TIGER funds over the next two fiscal years. The second amendment would support the construction of stations on the Crenshaw-LAX Rail Line in Leimert Park and Westchester.
I urge you to apply for federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants to construct light rail stations in Leimert Park and Westchester during the application period for the current round of TIGER grants. Both of these communities deserve to have access to the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor, and TIGER grants would enable you to finance the construction of stations in these communities.
I am a strong supporter of the TIGER grant program, and I am committed to expanding the available funding for TIGER grants. I therefore submitted an amendment to H.R. 7 to provide one billion dollars nationwide in additional TIGER funding over the next two years. As you may know, H.R. 7 will be considered on the floor of the House of Representatives this week, and I will be working to convince my colleagues to pass my amendment. It is my hope that additional TIGER funding will empower local and regional transit agencies like LACMTA to improve transit access in the communities they serve.
I am also a strong supporter of the inclusion of light rail stations in Leimert Park and Westchester on the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor. Consequently, I submitted an amendment to H.R. 7 to state that it is the Sense of Congress that the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor should include stations to serve both the Leimert Park community and the Westchester community. The Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor will improve air quality, relieve traffic congestion, and expand access to work, education, shopping, and entertainment opportunities throughout Los Angeles County. In order to maximize these benefits, it is important that all communities along the corridor have access to it. That is why it is so critical that the corridor include stations in Leimert Park and Westchester.
I urge you to include light rail stations in both Leimert Park and Westchester in the plans for the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor and seek TIGER funding for their construction. I look forward to working with you to ensure that this corridor receives strong federal support and serves all of the communities in the Crenshaw/LAX area.
The Crenshaw Subway Coalition thanks the Congresswoman for her efforts, and respectfully requests that she pursue similar efforts to underground the line for the last mile of the line that is at street-level on Crenshaw Blvd from 48th Street to 59th Street.