Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa returned from a trip to Washington, D.C. optimistic about his plan to accelerate several transit projects, including his beloved “subway to the sea” that would take rail from the Miracle Mile to Santa Monica. His plan to compact 30 years worth of work into 10 would take serious federal dollars, even with billions the city will rake in from a sales tax increase approved by voters in 2008. Villaraigosa calls his acceleration proposal “30/10.”

“It's great to have such a good dialogue with high level Federal officials who understand what 30/10 means for jobs, the environment, and mobility in Los Angeles County,” he stated Friday.

At a hearing of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, loans, subsidies and “innovative” repayment programs were discussed as avenues for speeding up the region's transit plan, which Villaraigosa touted as a job-builder.

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer said she was behind the mayor's proposal, too.

“I support the 30/10 initiative,” she said during the hearing. “I look forward to working with the Mayor, my colleagues in the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. Department of Transportation to find ways to help not only Los Angeles but also communities across this nation.”

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