As a native Angelino, I am well aware that the effective and efficient movement of people and goods is a never ending challenge for our Los Angeles communities. The Red and Yellow cars, the automobile, buses, and expanding light rail and subway lines have all played an important role in keeping LA on the move. However, every day we see that these traditional modes of transportation strain to meet our demanding transportation needs. As a Member of the House Appropriations Committee, I work not only to ensure that new and innovative national transportation and safety programs are funded, but also that our communities receive their fair share of federal infrastructure resources.
I have worked closely with our local transportation stakeholders in growing our rail transit system, and I am proud that the newest rail line, the Edward R. Roybal Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension, opened in 2009 in the 34th Congressional District. We must continue this cooperative effort as we move to reduce congestion, increase mobility, and protect our air quality by: further expanding our transit systems; rehabilitating our freeways; repairing and maintaining our aging infrastructure; and ensuring cleaner burning trucks and ships at our ports. As we make these improvements, we must also do so with an eye toward improving the efficient movement of goods throughout our region.
I will work to ensure that as we address our future transportation needs, we continue to think “outside the box” and look at alternative means of transportation. That is one reason why I have been an early and ardent supporter of efforts to restore the historic Red Car to downtown Los Angeles. I believe a Red Car circulator that connects both ends of downtown can provide efficient and effective transportation to workers, residents, and tourists to our downtown communities.
Pursuing alternative modes of transportation and alternative fuel sources is all the more pressing as the nation again grapples with sky rocketing gas prices. I continue to work with congressional leaders to pass a multi-year transportation bill that addresses our critical infrastructure needs while not saddling consumers with user fees that are unduly burdensome or excessive.