The Next American City blog tells the story of how LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Measure R are changing the game for transit, and quotes Move LA Executive Director Denny Zane extensively. Jake Blumgart writes:

Denny Zane, former mayor of Santa Monica and executive director of Move LA, a transit advocacy group, [says expansion of the TIFIA program was] a necessary step for cash-strapped local governments looking to make strategic long-term investments without breaking the bank. “You can borrow money for multiple projects and not just one project at a time,” Zane said. “Its like a line of credit and it means. . . communities can plan for their assistance knowing that they are virtually assured of getting a low interest loan for not just one, but a whole system of projects. As a result they actually plan a system instead of just one line.”

Zane argues that the TIFIA expansion can ease the political rivalries that often bedevil transit projects as multiple communities struggle over a particular line of funding. His evidence? It allowed L.A. to move forward with Measure R’s designated projects in 10 years, instead of 30. Zane believes the initial approval ratings for Measure R would have been even higher had voters known the projects could be completed in their lifetimes. The 400,000 jobs created by these large-scale transit projects are an added bonus. Good for employment and the environment, easing traffic and stimulating the local economy, and with what seems like an easily replicable model. What could be wrong with that?

Read the rest of Denny's comments here:

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