Wilshire Bus Only Lanes Get Federal Greenlight!
by Geoff Ramsey-Ray on Thursday, March 12, 2009
Federal funding allows MTA to begin implementing Bus Only Lanes
Contact: Manuel Criollo and Sunyoung Yang
The U.S. Senate passed it's 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which includes the first installment of $9.8 million for the 12.5 miles bus-only lanes along Wilshire Boulevard. In February of last year the Federal Transit Administration had formally recommended the Wilshire Bus-Only Lane Project to receive $23.3 million from the Federal Very Small Starts grant over the course of 2 years beginning in 2009.
This decision by the federal government to fund the Wilshire Bus Only Lanes Project, is the reflection of an important collaboration between the Bus Riders Union's Clean Air, Clean Lungs, Clean Buses Campaign, our allies, L.A. City Council and MTA elected officials and staff.
We want to recognize Councilmember Wendy Greuel and members of the Transportation Committee for helping move this important transit and environmental policy forward during the last 5 years in the L.A. City Council and Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard for including this project within the 2009 appropriations bill. We want to recognize the relentless political leadership of Francisca Porchas, the lead organizer of this campaign, along with Sunyoung Yang, Esperanza Martinez, Manuel Criollo, and Barbara Lott-Holland of the BRU. We also want to recognize many hours of organizing and hard work by BRU members who built the political and community support around this campaign.
This breakthrough comes after an insistent 5-year public health and environmental justice campaign waged by the BRU to move MTA and L.A. City to prioritize buses on the auto addicted streets of Los Angeles and reduce auto emissions of air toxins and greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. The BRU's Clean Air, Clean Lungs, Clean Buses Campaign feels proud of this important environmental breakthrough and will continue engaing in the implementation process of the Wilshire Bus-Only Lanes Project.