Wednesday, May 01, 2013

LACMTA proposes $4.9 billion FY14 budget

Los Angles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) will hold a public hearing on a draft $4.891-billion budget for Fiscal Year 2013-14 on May 15 at LACMTA Headquarters in Los Angeles.

LACMTA directors will consider adopting the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2013, at their May 23 meeting.

LACMTA's budget proposal calls for keeping fares at current levels, however, CEO Art Leahy is urging directors now 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 the buses and trains.

In FY14, late night service will be added on the Expo and Gold Lines, there will be more weekend service on all rail lines and hundreds of new rail cards are on order.

Leahy is proposing to 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.

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

Using the voter mandate for Measure R that is expanding transit options, 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 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.

The FY14 draft budget is $316 million or 6.9 percent more than the current $4.575 billion budget. This reflects major planning, design and construction in the next fiscal year, as mandated by Measure R. In the new fiscal year, LACMTA will be spending $1.289 billion on Measure R transit projects.

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