The international nonprofit American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has honored Mayor Villaraigosa, three-time chairman of LA Metro's board and a board member since 2005, for his contributions to the public transportation industry through policy, legislative initiative, and leadership. APTA gave the mayor the "2012 Distinguished Service Award" for transforming his innovative 30-10 plan into the national America Fast Forward program, which became the "financial centerpiece" of the nation's new Surface Transportation Bill (MAP-21).
APTA is an international association of 1,500 public and private member organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed rail, and including LA Metro.
"The programs Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has championed in Los Angeles — America Fast Forward, clean alternative fuels for buses, bus rapid transit, congestion pricing, sustainable development and many more — are part of the mayor's vigorous transportation agenda to transform Los Angeles from the car capital of the world to the transit capital of the world," said LA Metro CEO Art Leahy.
APTA acknowledged the mayor for his work with the California Legislature, for passage of the 2008 Measure R half-cent sales tax for transportation, his "30/10 Initiative" to build a dozen mass transit projects in the next 10 years (instead of the 30 years it would take the sales tax to accumulate), for leveraging "30-10" into America Fast Forward, which became the enhanced TIFIA low-interest loan program, called the "largest transportation infrastructure financing fund" in U.S. DOT history by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
As a result of the Mayor's vigorous leadership on transportation, major projects have come online, including the 6-mile Metro Gold Line Extension to East Los Angeles; the 14-mile Metro Orange Line transitway serving the San Fernando Valley; the Metro Expo Line, Phase 1, an 8.6-mile light rail line from downtown LA to Culver City; the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Project, an 8.5-mile light rail line that will extend from Crenshaw Boulevard at Exposition to the Metro Green Line's Aviation/LAX Station; the Regional Connector, a 1.9-mile fully underground connection in downtown LA that will link four light rail lines, minimizing the need for rail transfers; the Westside Subway Extension, a 9-mile subway extension that will serve Century City and Westwood/UCLA, and the 4-mile Metro Orange Line Extension to Chatsworth.
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