President Biden on Thursday touted his bipartisan $1.2 billion infrastructure bill while in Los Angeles where upgrades to the region’s public transit system are underway while taking a slight jab at former President Trump.
Speaking alongside U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., who is running for mayor of Los Angeles, Biden said the addition of roadway lanes to the Port of Los Angeles and expanding Metro lines in Los Angeles County will benefit local workers and relieve congested supply lines.
“Instead of Infrastructure Week being a punchline under my predecessor, infrastructure decade is a headline on my watch for the next ten years,” he said at the site of the Los Angeles County Metro, D Line (Purple) Extension Transit Project. “There’s no better example of what’s happening than right here in Los Angeles.”
He noted that nearly 10 million people reside in the county, prompting the need for upgrades to the transit system to ease the region’s notorious traffic and pollution.
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The Purple Line extension will extend the route from the busy Koreatown neighborhood to the University of California, Los Angeles on the city’s Westside and the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. The trip normally takes an hour on bus but could be shortened to 25 minutes once the new rail line opens in 2027, Biden said.
“It’s going to affect pollution in a significant way,” Biden said.
He noted more than 100,000 unionized workers were working on the extension and that every single bus in Los Angeles will run on electricity by 2030.
To ease the stress on supply chains, crews will build a four-lane road to the Port of Los Angeles in an effort to make it easier for commercial trucks to off-load goods. The channel in the Port of Long Beach will also be deepened so container ships can move in and out of the harbor faster, Biden said.
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Before touting the infrastructure plan, Biden briefly addressed inflation along with gas prices, major concerns for voters and elected officials ahead of the midterm elections.
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“Americans are squeezed by the cost of living,” he said. “A lot of people are hurting these days.
He said he plans address gas prices next week.