$1.9 Billion in State Budget Surplus Requested for L.A. Transit Projects

L.A. transit officials hope the state budget surplus can be used to fund regional transit project, including one highly anticipated light rail project that broke ground on Friday, December 2.

Read Time: 2 minutes

December 4, 2022, 11:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Light Rail Project Proposed Route

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority / East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor Project

The Los Angeles County Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors is hoping the state of California’s budget surplus can be used to add $1.9 billion in funding for public transit investments around the county, including in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, according to a paywalled article by Steve Scauzillo.

The hope is to use the state money toward two new light rail projects and the extension of a third. “The No. 1 priority project is the East San Fernando Valley (ESFV) Light Rail Transit Project,” writes Scauzillo. “Metro is asking the state for $600 million which could complete funding for the project, which is set to break ground on Friday, Dec. 2.”

“Metro’s board accepted a staff plan on Thursday to ask the state for a total of $1.9 billion spread over the three rail projects that Metro believes are the most likely to get state dollars. Grants would fully fund some projects, while moving another toward full funding,” adds Scauzillo.

The state has already indicated that public transit will get priority for the extra budget. “The state has made available about $2.83 billion for LA Metro and possibly $4 billion unsecured dollars for the entire state in the next few years that have not been earmarked. The funding pots are leftover from a big $98 billion state budget surplus.” (It should be noted that reports have cast doubt on the reality of the $98 billion surplus figure, and that the state might be faced with a deficit.)

The entire list of projects targeted by the Metro Board includes the L (formerly the Gold Line) extension from Pomona to Claremont—the first Metro project to cross into another county (San Bernardino County). The final project is the West Santa Ana Branch (WSAB) Transit Corridor Project, which would connect Downtown Los Angeles to southeast Los Angeles County.

Friday, December 2, 2022 in Los Angeles Daily News

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