May 18: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

1984:  The federal Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA) issues a press statement naming the Southern California Rapid Transit District‘s Los Angeles Metro Rail Project the nation’s number one cost-effective new rail project.  Amongst all mass transit capital improvement projects which UMTA evaluated (including bus programs), Metro Rail ranked number two.

This is likely attributable at least in part to SCRTD’s report titled Compelling Reasons and funding Profile for the Metro Rail Project produced earlier in the year.

More information can be found in the June, 1984 issue of the Southern California Rapid Transit District’s Metro Rail News employee news magazine.

The cover story is an opinion piece supporting Metro Rail by “fiscal conservative” U.S. Representative David Dreier.

Just a few days earlier, on May 15, Dreier was joined by a California Senators Alan Cranston and Pete Wilson, along with a bipartisan group of California Representatives (Glenn Anderson, Julian Dixon, Carlos Moorhead, and Edward Roybal) in requesting that U.S. Transportation Secretary Elizabeth Dole immediately issue the necessary federal funding documents that will enable SCRTD to start construction on Metro Rail.

On June 14th, their efforts succeeded:  UMTA officials announce that U.S. President Ronald Reagan has approved a $105 million grant for engineering, land acquisition, and other pre-construction activities.

UMTA is renamed the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in 1991.