Budget Challenges Threaten So Cal Transit Operations

The CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority details the feast or famine of transportation planning in Southern California in 2010: budgets are being slashed while a new sales tax and federal stimulus go online.

The article features Q&A with Metro CEO Art Leahy:

"The underlying notion is that we should treat Measure R as an economic stimulus package. Moreover, we should tell Washington that there is no national recovery without a California recovery and there is no California recovery without a Los Angeles recovery. So the idea is if we can get low or no interest loans of some kind from Washington, D.C., we could then accelerate Measure R projects, trying to get them done in 10 years."

"Measure R is a good thing. The bad thing is that sales tax is down and the state's funding for transit operations largely goes down because of job loss, and therefore revenue is down. Those are all serious problems. In the context of SB 375, which links project approvals with regional transit services, the state has added policy while they defunded transit operations. That really tightens the problem that we have in the coming year."

Thanks to James Brasuell

Full Story: Metro CEO Art Leahy Talks Budget, Operations, Capital Projects

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