The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) announced support Sept. 6 for Gov. Edmund G. Brown’s leadership in ensuring the continued flow of federal grant money to public transit providers in California.
Yesterday, Brown proposed legislation to temporarily exempt public transit employees from the California Public Employee Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PERPA) after the U.S. Department of Labor refused to certify millions of dollars in grant money for a transit agency in Sacramento due to department officials’ assertion that PERPA is in violation of federal labor laws.
The legislation offers a compromise that will allow $1.6 billion in federal funds to continue to flow to public transit agencies throughout the state, including MTS, while the matter is being decided in court.
“MTS has never believed PEPRA violates any federal regulations and we therefore look forward to a quick resolution in the courts,” said Paul Jablonski, CEO of MTS. “We appreciate Governor Brown’s continued support of transit funding and his leadership in the area of pension reform.”
If this strategy is successful, it will result in MTS receiving about $25 million in federal grant money for two critical projects; a new, state-of-the-art bus maintenance facility in El Cajon and the purchase of 50 new buses to update its fleet.