Inland Empire, CA: 'Subway to the Sea' gets infusion of federal cash, Inland Empire not so much

The so-called “Subway to the Sea” got a shot of federal money today to extend the project from mid-city Los Angeles to Westwood. But the Inland Empire struck out on its request for money to widen the 91 freeway.

The subway money is just a loan. L.A. County’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority will have to pay back the $641 million from sales tax revenues. But the infusion of cash upfront means construction can begin now on an additional 9 miles of subway that’ll carry riders from the Purple Line’s current terminus at Wilshire and Western all the way to Westwood.

The Westside’s gain was the Inland Empire’s loss. The Riverside County Transportation Commission did not get the loan it had wanted to add six lanes to the 91 freeway. Four of those would have been toll lanes. Federal Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he’s enthusiastic about the project. He suggests that the 91 project will get a loan next year once it’s completed the permit process.

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