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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Appointment boosts LACMTA expansion

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A top adviser for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will be transferred Jan. 4 to a new job aimed at bringing a light-rail system to Los Angeles and L.A./Ontario international airports, the Los Angeles Times reports. Deputy Mayor Diego Alvarez will serve as the regional transportation coordinator for Los Angeles World Airports, which operates both airports, according to Villaraigosa's office.

Alvarez will develop plans with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to extend the Metro Gold Line to the Ontario airport. Recent talks have discussed extending the Gold Line from Montclair - its planned end point - to Ontario International.

The MTA board this month signed off on a plan to link the Green Line and the Exposition Line. There would be a proposed stop at Century and Aviation boulevards from which LAWA would connect passengers to LAX via a bus or tram.

This will be Alvarez's second stint for LAWA. He worked for several years as the executive assistant for government relations. Two years ago, Villaraigosa appointed Alvarez deputy mayor of legislative and intergovernmental relations. He served as chief liaison to federal, state and local government agencies. Alvarez, a graduate of George Washington University Law School and UC Irvine, held similar government liaison roles during under mayors James Hahn and Richard Riordan.