Friday, May 24, 2013

LACMTA adopts FY14 budget

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) Board of Directors have adopted a balanced $5.075-billion budget for Fiscal Year 2013-14 that begins on July 1, 2013.

The spending plan keeps fares at current levels, however, CEO Art Leahy has urged directors to begin discussing fare restructuring for future years. He notes LACMTA fares are among the lowest of any major transit agency in the world, and riders only pay 26 percent of what it costs to operate their buses and trains.

In FY14, additional late night service will be added on the Expo and Gold Lines and there also will be more weekend service on all rail lines.

LACMTA will spend $261 million in the next fiscal year on deferred maintenance for bus and rail vehicles and facilities and another $37 million on capital improvements for safety and security, including $20 million for gates and other safety enhancements on the Blue Line.

The budget altogether includes $165 million for safety and security, a major focus of Los Angeles County Supervisor and LACMTA Board Chair Michael Antonovich. The sum includes paying for law enforcement on the LACMTA system in addition to capital improvements and various passenger safety and security measures. This will be a $13-million increase over the current fiscal year.

Gates in the subway and many of the light-rail stations will be latched, a phased in approach that will start June 19 just before the start of the new fiscal year. Next year, LACMTA also plans on unveiling a master plan for Union Station that will address how the historic facility will accommodate transit system expansion.

Fulfilling the voter mandate for Measure R that is greatly expanding transit options for Angelenos, in FY14, LACMTA will advance design and early construction for the Purple Line subway extension, the Regional Connector rail line that will connect the Gold, Blue and Expo lines to eliminate transfers and the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor light-rail line, among other transit projects and programs. Construction is well underway for the Expo light-rail segment from Culver City to Santa Monica and the Gold Line Foothill Extension from Pasadena to Azusa and will continue in FY14.

LACMTA's FY14 budget is $500 million or 11 percent more than the agency's current $4.575 billion budget. LACMTA funding comes largely from local transportation sales tax revenue, along with transit assistance and grants from the state and federal governments, farebox revenue and other revenue sources such as advertising, land leases and commercial filming.

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