Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced legislation that would allow for subway tunneling in parts of Los Angeles, which would provide much needed public transit to one of the most congested regions in the country.

Sen. Boxer said, “Today is a good day for Los Angeles.  This subway project is another important step to decreasing congestion in Los Angeles.  We’ve been told this project can be done safely, so it’s time to move forward.”

“Severe gridlock is a reality faced by millions of residents in Los Angeles every day,” Sen. Feinstein said. “This is why public transportation is so important. But plans to expand the City’s Metro Rail Red Line and to offer direct connections from Downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean were delayed for more than 20 years because of serious safety concerns. Experts have now assured us that tunneling technologies have improved sufficiently to allay those concerns. It’s time to make this project a reality.”

The Los Angeles Subway Tunneling Bill overturns a 1985 law that prohibited tunneling because of the potential for methane gas explosions.  After the Los Angeles City Council passed a motion in support of reversing the laws banning tunneling in 2004 and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority board voted to begin discussions of subway expansion in 2005, an independent scientific safety review determined that subway tunneling could move forward safely.

This legislation has the support of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Representative Waxman introduced a companion bill in the House.