Here’s the news release from the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti:
LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today celebrated the American Rescue Plan’s investment of more than $1.6 billion in transportation agencies across the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim Urbanized Area. Joined by Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) CEO Phil Washington and Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) General Manager Seleta Reynolds, the Mayor highlighted the critical role of this federal funding in restoring service and ridership, while keeping the region on track to meet its timelines for major capital projects.
“With this pandemic wreaking havoc on our local budgets, these relief funds will go a long way in helping us reach our ultimate destination: more buses on our streets, more trains on the tracks, and restored service, ahead of schedule,” said Metro Chair and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The road to recovery is paved with investments in our infrastructure, and these dollars will make a real difference in enabling us to create jobs, boost ridership, meet our sustainability targets, and continue the transportation renaissance underway across our region.”
In July 2020, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) found that nearly half of all public transit agencies had already implemented or were planning service reductions and layoffs, and had deferred or canceled capital projects. At the time, Metro predicted that it would sustain a $1.8 billion revenue reduction and that ridership would take up to two years to return to normal.
To address this shortfall, Los Angeles advocated for and received three major measures of relief: the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, and the American Rescue Plan (ARP) — which, altogether, add up to $3.8 billion of relief funds for our region to stabilize budgetary deficits and prevent substantial cutbacks. Metro expects to use 100 percent of its portion of this funding to support bus and rail service in Los Angeles County, and at Mayor Garcetti’s direction, the agency has accelerated transit service restoration to reach full pre-pandemic levels by September 2021.
“This funding is critically needed and will enable Metro to increase transit services and boost ridership,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “With ridership at nearly 50 percent of pre-pandemic levels, the American Rescue Plan Act puts us on a path to rebuild our ridership and continue providing a lifeline service to essential workers using Metro buses and trains.”
“The last 12 months tested our department and City in ways we couldn’t have imagined, but with innovation, cooperation, and creativity we found ways to meet our community’s evolving needs,” said LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds.” This relief bill will allow us to double down on our efforts to build a safe and sustainable transportation system, which we know is critical to our region’s long-term economic recovery.”
These federal packages have provided a critical infusion of relief funds to help transit agencies across the L.A. region stay solvent and refrain from additional service cutbacks and layoffs. The ARP’s $1.6 billion allocated to the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim region will be apportioned by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) to county transportation agencies like Metro, which will in turn subdivide it among the transit operators within each county, like LADOT.
Beyond these direct investments, the ARP includes an additional $1.5 billion nationwide to support existing capital projects funded by the federal New Starts program. Metro and Mayor Garcetti worked to ensure that New Starts initiatives would be included in the legislation to help keep key Metro projects on schedule and provide well-paying jobs to L.A. residents. From this pot, Metro will receive over $275 million for four projects, including $59 million for the Regional Connector; $66.5 million for the Purple Line Extension Section 1; $58.5 million for the Purple Line Extension Section 2; and $93.5 million for the Purple Line Extension Section 3.