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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Southern California

Local Officials Push for Public Transportation

A new $524 billion plan aims to make Southern California pedestrian-friendly.

The $524 billion agreement will help increase public transportation (Photo courtesy AP).
The $524 billion agreement will help increase public transportation (Photo courtesy AP).
The Southern California Association of Governments unanimously adopted a $524 billion agreement Wednesday that aims to sharply increase walking, biking and public transportation.

The 25-year plan aims to shift public transit to the forefront of priorities in Southern California.

Nearly half the money, $246 billion, would go to public transportation. Officials plan to triple the overall funding for biking and walking resources, from $1.8 billion to $6.7 billion.

In an attempt to make that money more meaningful, the region would aim for 60 percent more housing near public transit than currently exists.

It also has projections of 4.2 million new jobs in the region, and plans to keep public transit within a half-mile of nearly all of them.

Officials must wait for approval from federal agencies before the plan is approved.

The agreement is intended to improve public health by reducing emissions and encouraging exercise, but the planned money outlays may not sit well with some government officials and citizens.

The predominant population of drivers in Southern California pose a problem to the new plan and lawmakers say most have no intention of getting out of their cars and getting on a bike.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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