A Transportation Vision

11/22/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Yesterday, I delivered a keynote speech to the Mobility 21 Summit, where I shared my vision for an accessible, sustainable, truly regional transportation system in Southern California.

I asked the crowd of more than 600 transportation experts to imagine a system that is comprehensive enough to make owning a car in the greater Los Angeles area optional, and proceed to outline a list of projects that will help get us there.

At the top of that list is completing a subway line from Downtown LA to the Westside, connecting our two most concentrated job centers, and alleviating traffic region-wide.

This is so important to the people of Los Angeles that they voted to increase their sales tax by one half of one percent because they knew that investing in transportation and infrastructure is investing in our future. This kind of commitment from local government needs to be matched at the federal level if the US is going to develop the infrastructure it needs to continue to lead in the 21st century global marketplace.

One example: Investing in high-speed rail for California, along the guidelines recently outlined by President Obama, and investing in regional connectors that link major metropolitan centers together, will create jobs, cut emissions, and offer a viable alternative to highway and air travel.

I look forward to working closely with Congress and the Obama administration to ensure that every half-cent that we get from the people of Los Angeles is maximized to its fullest potential and that Angelenos have the opportunity to get out of their cars and ride a public transportation system worthy of this world-class city.