The Board unanimously approved a $5.5-billion budget for the fiscal year running from this July 1 through June 30, 2015.
Here is the updated news release from Metro to reflect the fare changes the Board also adopted today:
The Board of Directors of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) today approved a balanced $5.508 billion Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15) budget, set to begin July 1, 2014. The budget includes continued commitment to the largest highway and rail building program in America, bus headway improvements and $283.4 million in maintenance expenditures to keep the system in top form.
The FY15 budget enhances many services while keeping fares at low levels, however, a base fare increase of 25 cents, from $1.50 to $1.75, goes into effect as early as September 1, 2014 to help offset a projected Fiscal Year 2017 operations budget deficit of $36.9 million. Fares for students will be frozen at current levels and the Board next month also will consider keeping fares for seniors and disabled persons at current levels. Free transfers in a two hour period also will be offered.
As part of the $283.4 million targeted at maintenance, Metro will spend $192.7 million on bus service including the purchase of 550 new clean-burning CNG buses and about $50 million for rail improvements on the Blue Line and the Red Line subway in the next fiscal year.
Safety is critical to Metro passengers and the FY15 budget contains $48.7 million to keep the system as safe as possible. Enhancements include improvements to cameras and video monitoring, security kiosks at various rail stations, signal system rehabilitation on the Metro Blue and Green lines and pedestrian safety improvements on the Metro Red Line with an underpass and overpass bridge planned for Universal City and North Hollywood stations.
Metro continues construction on the most comprehensive public works program in America with Measure R and other funding sources. In FY15, Metro will have five major rail projects either under construction or prepared to begin including the Metro Gold Line extension to Azusa, the Metro Expo Line extension to Santa Monica, the Crenshaw/LAX Line and the Regional Connector. The Metro Purple Line extension to Westwood has received a $1.25 billion Federal Full Funding Grant Agreement and $856 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan.
In terms of highway projects, the mammoth undertaking of modernizing and expanding capacity of the I-405 will be completed in FY15 and other projects are moving forward including I-5 widening from Orange County to the I-605, the I-710 South Corridor, the North SR-710 study and a variety of other improvements including continuation of countywide sound wall construction and the Freeway Beautification Pilot Project designed maintain landscape and remove graffiti and debris.
The Metro ExpressLanes Project continues to provide travel options on the I-10 and I-110 freeways with future expansion of ExpressLanes to be studied. The Kenneth Hahn Countywide Callbox System continues operation along with development of the Motorist Aid and Travel Information System (MATIS).
Metro will continue to contribute both operations and capital funding to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority with FY15 capital projects including the Bob Hope Airport/Hollywood Way station, Van Nuys Second Platform, Vincent Grade/Acton and Lancaster Stations, Doran Street Crossing design, Raymer to Bernson Double Track and Southern California Regional Interconnectivity Program (SCRIP), which will increase Union Station Capacity.
Here is the Metro staff report on the budget: