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SECRETARY PENA PRESENTS $49 MILLION TO MTA FOR RED LINE CONSTRUCTION; $300,000 GRANT TO IMPROVE TRANSIT ACCESSIBILITY FOR NON-ENGLISH SPEAKERS

 LOS ANGELES, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Transportation Secretary Federico Pena today presented a $49.6 million check to the MTA to help fund continuation of construction of the Metro Red Line subway system.
 An annual incremental payment on the five-year, $1.446 billion project, the funds will be used to advance the subway's Wilshire Corridor segment to 65 percent completion. The Wilshire Corridor segment of the Red Line is scheduled to open to the public in 1996.
 Pena also presented the MTA with a $300,000, federal Section 8 grant for an MTA project aimed at making the county's transit system more accessible and user-friendly to non-English speakers.
 "We are pleased that the federal government, represented by Secretary Pena, continues to provide strong support and funding as our partner in the construction of Los Angeles County's first modern subway," said MTA Board Chairman Richard Alatorre. "In turn, we are committed to building a safe, reliable and cost-effective rail network that will serve our citizens well into the next century."
 The Wilshire Corridor will continue west from the Westlake/ MacArthur Park station, currently the western terminus of the Red Line. The segment will have three stations: Wilshire/Vermont, Wilshire/ Normandie and Wilshire/Western.
 "With these funds in hand, we can proceed with the installation of mechanical and air handling systems, and with the completion of the fire protection systems for the Wilshire Corridor tunnels and stations," said MTA Chief Executive Officer Franklin E. White.
 White said the $300,000 federal grant will bring the MTA together with members of non-English speaking communities to develop ways to break down language and cultural barriers that may have hampered their use of the county's mass transit systems. The project could lead to the development of bilingual signs, rider information materials and patron services, as well as additional opportunities for contracting the services of minority firms.
 Secretary Pena made the announcements in the Los Angeles offices of Aegir Systems, an engineering and computer services firm founded in 1981 by Ella D. Williams. As a minority woman-owned business, Aegir has won a key contract with Northrop Corp., prime contractor on design and development of the Advanced Technology Transit Bus ("Stealth Bus").
 The company also is a subcontractor on projects involving the Red Line, the Green Line "L.A. Car" project, Metrolink and the CALTRANS High Speed Ground Transportation System from Los Angeles to Bakersfield.
 -0- 8/31/93
 /CONTACT: Bill Heard, 213-972-4400, or Jim Smart, 213-24-7443, both of MTA News Bureau/


CO: Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority ST: California IN: SU:

LM-JB -- LA030 -- 7626 08/31/93 16:10 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 31, 1993
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