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NEWS IN BRIEF: A summary of developments across Los
Angeles County | OFFICIAL BUSINESS

Lawmaker Assails MTA in Use of Federal Funds

January 23, 1998

Throwing a potential obstacle into the MTA's plans for keeping subway construction to North Hollywood on track, a local congressman vowed Thursday to oppose any more federal funding for the Metro Rail project until the transit authority agrees to share more money with cities.

Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-Santa Clarita) accused the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of "hijacking" $207 million from cities by directing the money into the subway project.

Cities want more money for local transportation projects such as street widenings. The MTA has said the newly allocated state funds are critical to completing the subway to North Hollywood on time, winning back the confidence of Washington and keeping federal funds flowing for future transportation projects throughout the county.

The threat comes at a bad time for the transit agency, which is preparing to lobby Congress for $100 million from the next federal budget for the subway project.

McKeon said he has talked to Rep. Bud Shuster (R-Pa.), whose House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will recommend how billions of dollars should be spent well into the next century. "I know that he has concerns about pouring more money into the subway system," McKeon said.

"I will do everything I can to make sure federal funds are not wasted on a bloated transit agency that fails to share monies with cities that can put it to good use," McKeon said.

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