Here's the news release from Metro — the big news is no fare increases and added service on the Orange Line, Expo Line and Gold Line:
The Metro Board of Directors today 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, Metro CEO Art Leahy has urged Metro directors to begin discussing fare restructuring for future years. He notes Metro fares are among the lowest of any major transit agency in the world, and Metro riders only pay 26 percent of what it costs to operate their buses and trains.
In FY 14 more service will be added midday to relieve overcrowding on the Metro Orange Line busway in the San Fernando Valley. Additional late night service will be added on the Expo and Metro Gold Lines, and there also will be more weekend service on all Metro Rail lines.
Hundreds of new buses and rail cars are on order, and construction is underway for a new state-of-the-art bus maintenance facility in downtown Los Angeles. Augmenting these efforts, Metro 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 Metro Blue Line.
The budget altogether includes $165 million for Safety and Security, a major focus of Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair Michael D. Antonovich. The sum includes paying for law enforcement on the Metro 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 Metro also plans on unveiling a master plan for Union Station that will address how the historic facility will accommodate transit system expansion.u3
Fulfilling the voter mandate for Measure R that is greatly expanding transit options for Angelenos, in FY 14 Metro will advance design and early construction for the Purple Line subway extension, the Regional Connector rail line that will connect the Metro 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 Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension from Pasadena to Azusa and will continue in FY 14.
Taking a multi-pronged approach to easing traffic in Los Angeles County, Metro will expand its highway program in FY 14, advancing more than a dozen small and large highway projects and managing the I-10 and 110 ExpressLanes congestion pricing demonstration project. The I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project should wrap up next year. Metro also will pursue new initiatives to promote bicycling.
Metro’s FY 14 budget is $500 million or 11 percent more than the agency’s current $4.575 billion budget. This reflects major rail and highway planning, design and construction in the next fiscal year as mandated by Measure R. In 2008 more than 2 million Los Angeles County voters approved the Measure R half cent sales tax to advance a dozen major transit projects and 15 highway projects. In the new fiscal year Metro will be spending $1.289 billion on Measure R transit projects and $141 million on Measure R highway projects.
There are risk factors for the newly adopted budget. Metro is not immune to the state and federal budget woes that could cut transportation funding. The economy is still shaky, and collective bargaining agreements with Metro unions are being negotiated.
Metro 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.
Categories: Transportation News