U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today that the Metro Gold Line will receive $66.7 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The funds will be used for the Metro Gold Line Eastside Light Rail Extension.
“By getting these funds to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority now, we’re providing a boost that will help this project keep moving forward while jump-starting the economy and putting people back to work,” Secretary LaHood said.
The East Side Extension is six miles of track that will connect the Gold Line at Union Station through Little Tokyo, Boyle Heights, and end in East Los Angeles at the intersection of Atlantic & Pomona Boulevards.
It is worth noting that today’s announcement doesn’t really mean any more money for the Gold Line. In 2004, the Feds agreed to provide $490.7 million of the $898.8 million total project cost. This was to be paid in annual increments through 2010. The ARRA grant announced today doesn’t increase the federal commitment to the project; it just expedites funds already promised.
While Secretary LaHood was happy to announce the advance on our allowance, he did not mention a specific preference for what the Eastside Extension should be called.