The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (Metro) board of directors 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% of what it costs to operate their buses and trains.
In Fiscal Year 2014 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 railcars 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; a $13 million increase over the current fiscal year.
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