The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (L.A. Metro) Board of Directors has approved L.A. Metro’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 budget. The budget, which totals $9 billion, will fund an equitable service plan that improves transit service frequency and reliability for L.A. Metro riders, enhances cleanliness and safety on the transit system and funds the continued integration of L.A. Metro’s transportation projects.
The budget represents a 2.6 percent increase over FY23’s $8.7 billion budget and covers the FY 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 L.A. Metro Board Chair Ara J. Najarian. "Throughout the year-long budget process, L.A. 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."
L.A. Metro has invested $2.9 billion of its budget (a five percent increase over FY23) specifically in transit operations, which will allow L.A. Metro to operate 8.9 million revenue service hours of transit services in FY24 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 a safer, reliable and clean transit service, and this new budget reflects those priorities," said L.A. County Supervisor and L.A. Metro Board Member Kathryn Barger. "Our L.A. Metro budget funds key initiatives such as more transportation security officers and cleaning programs, new rail service such as the Regional Connector and delivers fast and reliable service through the NextGen Bus Plan. I support continuing to put our customers front and center, so that we meet their expectations."
L.A. Metro's FY24 budget includes total bus investments of nearly $1.9 billion, a 6.6 percent increase over the FY23 budget.
To deliver a cleaner transit system, L.A. Metro is investing more than $200 million of its new budget specifically in cleaning efforts, a 13 percent increase from FY23. L.A. 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 L.A. Metro’s most traveled stations and terminals.
L.A. Metro’s budget also includes $290.5 million to improve safety for customers, which constitutes a 3.7 percent increase over FY23’s budget. L.A. 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 (TSO), contract security, law enforcement and homeless and mental health outreach teams on its system. L.A. 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.
L.A. 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. The pilot will inform L.A. Metro’s safety approaches at other stations as well.
The agency has also implemented a Drug-Free Metro campaign that enforces L.A. Metro’s prohibition against illegal drug use on buses and trains. TSOs 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 the 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 L.A. Metro system. In FY24, Metro will partner with People Assisting the Homeless and Los Angeles County Department of Health Services to invest nearly $14 million in outreach to unhoused individuals. L.A. Metro will allocate $10 million to a new Department of Mental Health 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, L.A. Metro will invest in short-term shelters, workforce partnerships and other strategies to help address these issues on its transit system.
L.A. Metro’s FY24 budget continues to invest in the agency’s transit capital program — the largest of its kind in the country. L.A. Metro will invest $2.2 billion in its Transit Infrastructure Development Program for numerous projects now in the planning and construction. L.A. Metro anticipates full-scale construction will begin on the G (Orange) Line Improvements project in FY24, with additional projects like the Airport Metro Connector and the Purple Line Extension Project moving closer to completion.
L.A. 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 L.A. Metro’s budget provides targeted and indirect benefits to Equity Focus Communities, a 6.6 percent increase over the previous year’s budget, including continued support for its Low-Income Fare is Easy and GoPass Pilot Programs, as well as the rollout of its Mobility Wallet and Fare Capping programs, which provide vital fare relief for more L.A. 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. The component is directly tied to locally imposed and collected sales taxes. L.A. 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."