Adopted budget for 2023-24 fiscal year is now online

For those who like to dive into the details, Metro’s annual budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year (July 1, 2023, thru June 30, 2024) is now posted online.

The $9-billion balanced budget was approved by the Metro Board of Directors in May after a public hearing earlier in the month. The budget was developed with considerable input from riders and puts an emphasis on improving public safety and the customer experience on board our system, as well as continuing to restore service to pre-pandemic levels.

Here are some of the highlights:

Public Safety

To deliver a safer system, we’re implementing a comprehensive, multi-layered strategy that focuses on getting a more visible presence of staff on our system. That means continued funding for contracting law enforcement services, more of our own Transit Security Officers to help ensure compliance with our Code of Conduct and funding for our pilot Metro Ambassador program that officially launched earlier this year.

Mental Health, Drug Addiction and Unhoused

The new budget invests more money to improve our response to societal issues that impact our transit system. The proposed budget invests $13.5 million in outreach to unhoused people in partnership with People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) and the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS). The budget also dedicates $10 million to a new partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Services (DMH), to provide training support to identify mental health concerns and proper responses and Community Mental Health Ambassadors. We also plan to spend another $1.8 million for short-term shelters, workforce partnerships and other strategies to help address these issues on our system.

Transit service levels

To help everyone get around, the budget includes $2.4 billion for operations and maintenance of our transit system. That’s a five percent (or $112.7 million) increase over last year’s budget and will provide 8.9 million revenue service hours of bus and rail service and Metro Micro. That’s 9.6 percent higher than our pre-pandemic service levels — and 27.5 percent more rail service than we delivered prior to the pandemic.

Free and Reduced Fares

We want to ensure that as many people have access to Metro as possible — and we want to see ridership continue to rise as we recover from the pandemic. The budget funds: our GoPass Pilot Program that provides free fares for K-12 and community college students in Los Angeles County; our Low Income Fare Is Easy (LIFE) program that offers free and heavily discounted fares for our low-income riders; our upcoming Fare Capping program that will simplify our fares and will lower the cost of riding for many riders, and; our Mobility Wallet pilot that is helping reduce transportation expenses for low-income families.

Cleaning

We know riders want our system to be cleaner — and that a cleaner system is a safer one. The proposed budget includes $201 million in cleaning efforts, an increase of 13.3 percent or $23.6 million over the current year’s budget. This investment will enable us to create 10 roving cleaning teams, hire 24 more full-time custodial staff and hire up to 50 temporary part-time custodial staff dedicated to our B (Red) and D (Purple) subway lines. Metro is also increasing the frequency of cleaning — so we can clean buses and trains while they’re in service instead of waiting for them to return to our bus and rail yards.

New Transit Projects

With our Regional Connector project opening in June, the budget provides funds for the continued construction of several projects including the three sections of the Purple (D Line) Extension, the L (Gold) Line Extension to Pomona and the LAX/Metro Transit Center Station to connect our system and local transit to the airport.

The budget also supports upcoming construction of the G (Orange) Line Improvements Project to improve speed and safety on the busway in the San Fernando Valley, as well as pre-construction work for the first section of the East San Fernando Valley Light Rail Project that will build a new rail line along Van Nuys Boulevard between the G Line in Van Nuys and San Fernando Road in Pacoima. We’re also working to install new bus priority lanes and transit signal prioritization to speed up bus service.

The Rest of the Budget

There’s much more to the budget than just the above. Metro is the transportation planning and funding agency for Los Angeles County and the budget covers all of our resources and expenditures — including funds that we distribute to cities and the county for their local mobility projects and services (ranging from sidewalk upgrades to muni buses), Metrolink’s regional rail program (including projects to improve capacity) and our highway multimodal and congestion management program (ExpressLanes, rideshare, Freeway Service Patrol, etc.).

Categories: Policy & Funding, Projects

3 replies

  1. Is Metro required to have a balanced budget?
    Good for them to try to accomplish all the things in the budget post-covid and make the math work. Has it been like this in the past?

  2. I’m so excited for the “Regional Connector” to “open soon”!! (Please proofread this article).

    • Hi Jack —

      Good catch. Fixed. The messaging was from last spring — still valid but as you wrote, needed that key update 🙂

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source