FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dan Rottenstreich
July 23, 2015
Metro Blue Line Celebrates $39 Million in CA Climate Investments
State, Local Leaders Applaud New Funding for Improvements to Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Metro station
WILLOWBROOK – State and local leaders today praised nearly $39 million in new funding from the California Climate Investments program for improvements to the Metro Blue Line and the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Metro station. More than $2 billion in funding statewide is being allocated to projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions through climate investments. Funds are made possible by California’s groundbreaking climate and clean energy law, AB 32, and specifically its cap and trade program.
Lauding the new funding were Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León, LA Metro Board Chair and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Senator Isadore Hall, III, California State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly, California Air Resources Board Vice Chair Sandra Berg, and Coalition for Clean Air CEO and South Coast Air Quality Management District Board member Joe Lyou.
“This project is one of many across the state that are delivering real, tangible economic benefits as a result of California’s concerted policy efforts to tackle climate change,” said Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León. “By holding polluters accountable through cap and trade, we are able to make much needed investments in our communities.”
The Willowbrook/Rosa Parks station renovation project is part of a nearly $1 billion planned investment that seeks to improve the quality of life for the Willowbrook community by promoting health and wellness, economic development and job creation. More than $650 million has been invested in the MLK Medical Center campus and a new library and senior housing has been approved.
“I commend the State for investing in projects like this that meet a triple bottom line. The improvements at the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station and along the Blue Line will green our environment, improve access to public transit system, and help revitalize the surrounding community,“ said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who also serves as chair of the Metro board of directors.
The Metro Blue Line is one of the nation’s busiest light rail lines, with nearly 80,000 daily boardings. The Willowbrook/Rosa Parks station is the fourth busiest station in the entire Metro system.
“The Metro Blue Line and the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks station are critical investments to support the ongoing growth and success taking place in the Watts/Willowbrook community,” said Senator Isadore Hall, III (D- South Bay). “This important project will create jobs, improve our air quality and further my commitment to a greener, healthier future for residents in South Los Angeles.”
Planned Willowbrook/Rosa Parks station improvements will provide better commuter access with a new plaza and parking, and will enhance passenger safety with lighting and a Sheriff’s substation.
“This California Climate Investment plays an important role in expanding and enhancing the LA metro rail system—creating a more sustainable transport system to better serve our environmentally disadvantaged communities,” said California Air Resources Board CARB Vice Chair, Sandra Berg.
The Willowbrook/Rosa Parks station improvement grant is from the state’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program, designed to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by expanding public transportation ridership and capacity. Funding from this grant will be used for traffic signal enhancements along the entire Blue Line, in addition to the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks station improvements.
“This project was an ideal candidate for grant funds from the state’s cap and trade program, said California Transportation Agency Secretary, Brian Kelly. “The project improves transit operations, expands ridership, reduces pollutants, and enhances this community. It’s a win all the way around.”
“California is turning money from big polluters into better public transit for our most needy communities. Projects like the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks station renovation will improve public health and reduce our reliance on dirty petroleum fuels that damage our lungs,” said Joe Lyou, Coalition for Clean Air CEO and South Coast Air Quality Management District board member.
Today’s event was organized by California Delivers, a coalition of hundreds of California businesses, public health professionals, workers, public officials, community and faith leaders, environmental groups, and individuals focused on protecting, implementing and extending the benefits of AB 32 beyond 2020. For more information, visit www.cadelivers.org