LOS ANGELES, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa issued the following statement on Tuesday about the Obama Administration’s announcement that the Crenshaw/LAX light rail project is among 14 major infrastructure projects across the nation that will receive accelerated environmental and permit reviews. Mayor Villaraigosa’s office has worked closely with Washington to push this project forward, which will bring thousands of badly needed to jobs to the region.

“Today’s announcement by the Obama Administration is a major step forward in putting people back to work and creating a 21st century transit system in Los Angeles. Streamlining the Federal process for the Crenshaw/LAX light rail line project will help get construction started next year and create more than 15,000 quality jobs in Los Angeles.

I want to thank President Obama, Secretary LaHood and Federal Transit Administration officials for expediting the Crenshaw/LAX light rail project through the permitting and environmental review process.

Accelerating this 8.5-mile light rail line which will connect the Expo Line to the Green Line near LAX is exactly what we need to spur job creation and get the economy back on track.”

In 2008, Los Angeles voters approved Measure R, a half-cent sales tax that will be used to fund major transit projects across the region over the next 30 years. The Crenshaw/LAX project is one of the 12 rail projects included in Measure R. Mayor Villaraigosa created the 30/10 plan, an effort to fund the projects and complete them in 10 years instead of 30. The 30/10 initiative is known nationally as America Fast Forward, which will help communities nationwide accelerate their transit and infrastructure projects.