A federal monitor ruled Monday that the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) must press forward with the purchase of 145 buses by the end of the year to relieve persistent bus overcrowding.
As reported in The Los Angeles Times, Donald Bliss, a court-appointed overseer of a 10-year federal consent decree established in 1996, rejected MTA claims that it could cut overcrowding primarily through better management of its bus lines.
The order expands the number of buses Bliss wants the MTA to buy from the 117 he asked for in a tentative judgment in September to 145 and calls on the agency to add 370,185 operating hours of bus service per year.
Bliss wants the MTA to satisfy his order as fast as possible, even if it must lease buses while waiting for new vehicles to arrive, said The Times.
It will cost the MTA nearly $40 million to purchase the buses by the end of 2005, and another $40 million a year to operate them, said Marc Littman, an agency spokesman.
MTA Chief Executive Roger Snoble said in a statement Monday that the ruling was "not good news by any means."