The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)’s newly approved $9 billion budget for the 2024 Fiscal Year includes key capital investments intended to put Metro’s customers first. The agency’s new budget will fund an equitable service plan that improves transit service frequency and reliability for Metro riders, enhances cleanliness and safety on the transit system, and funds the continued integration of Metro’s growing portfolio of countywide transportation projects.
The balanced budget represents a 2.6 percent increase over last year’s $8.7 billion budget and covers the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024.
“Our agency’s new budget includes new and innovative initiatives that build on our efforts to ensure we operate a world-class transportation system for our customers,” said Glendale City Councilmember and Metro Board Chair Ara J. Najarian. “Throughout the year-long budget process, Metro focused on prudent fiscal planning and kept its sights trained on maintaining financial stability over the long term. The budget we have today will help ensure we invest in the types of improvements that our customers want and need most.”
To get Metro riders where they need to go more reliably in the next fiscal year, Metro has invested $2.9 billion of its budget (a five percent increase over FY’23) specifically in transit operations, which will allow Metro to operate 8.9 million revenue service hours of transit services in FY’24 compared to the current 7.5 million revenue service hours it operates today. This increased level of service is nearly 10 percent higher than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic precipitated major ridership declines in Los Angeles County and across the country.
“We’ve heard from riders that they want more frequent transit service, and that is precisely what this new budget delivers,” said L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Kathryn Barger. “Our service will be better than it was before the pandemic, and what’s more, we will fund full operations on the K Line, new rail service like the Regional Connector and continue delivering Metro’s NextGen Bus Plan that will provide fast, frequent, reliable and accessible service to better meet the needs of our bus riders.”
Metro FY’24 budget includes total bus investments of nearly $1.9 billion, a 6.6 percent increase over the previous year’s budget.
To deliver a cleaner transit system, Metro is investing more than $200 million of its new budget specifically in cleaning efforts, a 13 percent increase from FY’23. Metro will create 10 roving cleaning teams on the system and plans to hire 24 full-time and 50 part-time custodians to specifically clean the Metro B and D Lines (Red/Purple). The agency is also increasing the frequency of cleaning, expanding “in-line” and mid-day bus interior cleaning, end-of-line cleanings on rail lines and station hotspots, and expanding cleaning activities at Metro’s most traveled stations and terminals.
Metro’s budget also includes $290.5 million to improve safety for customers, which constitutes a 3.7 percent increase over last year’s budget. Metro has reassessed and reimagined its approach to public safety and is implementing transformational change through its multi-layered public safety approach that includes a combination of Metro Ambassadors, Transit Security Officers, contract security, law enforcement and homeless and mental health outreach teams on its system. Metro is also investing in enhanced security cameras, fare gates, lighting and other security infrastructure to make its system as safe as possible for customers.
For example, Metro is piloting a range of initiatives to improve conditions at its Westlake/MacArthur Park Station. Combined, they are having a measurable improvement on public safety, with significant drops in reported crimes, calls for emergency service and service calls. This pilot will inform Metro’s safety approaches at other stations as well.
The agency has also implemented a Drug-Free Metro campaign that enforces Metro’s prohibition against illegal drug use on buses and trains. Transit security officers have issued hundreds of citations and warnings for Code of Conduct violations and law enforcement has made hundreds of drug-related and trespassing arrests as part of this campaign.
The agency will also boost funding for additional social services to help address the county’s homelessness, drug addiction and mental health crises that are impacting the county, as well as the Metro system. In the next fiscal year, Metro will partner with People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) and Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) to invest nearly $14 million in outreach to unhoused individuals. Metro will allocate $10 million to a new Department of Mental Health (DMH) partnership to provide training on identifying mental health concerns and proper responses and strategies to address critical crisis response needs, and Community Mental Health Ambassadors. Additionally, Metro will invest in short-term shelters, workforce partnerships, and other strategies to help address these issues on its transit system.
Metro’s FY’24 budget continues to invest in the agency’s transit capital program — the largest of its kind in the country. Metro will invest $2.2 billion in its Transit Infrastructure Development Program for numerous projects now in the planning and construction. For example, Metro anticipates full-scale construction will begin on the G (Orange) Line Improvements project in the next fiscal year, with additional projects like the Airport Metro Connector and the Purple Line Extension Project moving closer to completion.
Notably, Metro will continue its focus on ensuring equity for customers. The new budget was developed using key equity assessment budget tools. Nearly 74 percent of Metro’s budget provides targeted and indirect benefits to Equity Focus Communities, a 6.6 percent increase over the previous year’s budget. This includes continued support for its Low-Income Fare is Easy (LIFE) and GoPass Pilot Programs as well as the roll out of its Mobility Wallet and Fare Capping programs, which provide vital fare relief for more Metro riders.
The budget also includes $2.1 billion in Regional Allocations and Pass-Through funding distributed to regional transit partners and municipalities to carry out local transportation needs. This component is directly tied to locally imposed and collected sales taxes. Metro also serves as the Regional Transportation Planning Agency for Los Angeles County to provide oversight and distribute State and Federal pass-through grants.
“The investments we are making focus on best serving our customers and putting their needs first,” said Metro CEO Stephanie N. Wiggins. “This budget helps us maintain the momentum from the past year and deliver a world-class transit system for the people of Los Angeles County that will help make it their first choice for transportation.”
For a breakdown of all Metro expenditures in the agency’s FY’24 budget, please visit metro.net.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is building the most ambitious transportation infrastructure program in the United States and is working to greatly improve mobility through its Vision 2028 Plan. Metro is the lead transportation planning and funding agency for L.A. County and carries about 880,000 boardings daily on a fleet of 2,200 low-emission buses and seven rail lines.
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