Thursday, June 01, 2017

LA Metro approves $6.1B budget

Written by  Stuart Chirls, senior editor, Railway Age

The board of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has approved the agency's $6.1 billion budget for fiscal 2018.
The balanced budget increases spending by 1.4 percent over fiscal 2017.

The agency expects delivery of 48 new light rail vehicles in fiscal 2018 to meet demand for services on the Expo and Gold Lines, with a projected revenue increase of 11.6 percent from 2017. The budget also ramps up procurement of heavy rail vehicles for the Purple Line Extension, and replacement of aging rolling stock there. Talgo in 2016 was awarded a $55-million contract to refurbish up to 74 A650 rapid transit cars.

Metro's oldest route, the Blue Line, will undergo state-of-good-repair upgrades in 2018, including pedestrian safety enhancements at grade crossings, overhead catenary system replacement, and signal improvements designed to avoid train delays to downtown Los Angeles. Green Line improvements are also in progress as track circuits and control systems are upgraded to provide direct connection to the Crenshaw line, to be completed in fiscal 2020, to enable travel to the Los Angeles International Airport and beyond upon completion of the Crenshaw LAX Transit project in 2020.

Fiscal 2018 will see continued work on three major projects approved by voters as part of Measure M in 2017: Crenshaw/LAX, Regional Connector, and the Purple Line Extension. The agency said that by the end of FY2018, Crenshaw/LAX is expected to reach 88 percent completion, and progress on the Regional Connector is forecast at 43 percent completion. The Purple Line Segment 1 construction is anticipated to achieve 35 percent completion.

Ground will be broken on the Airport Connector, as the agency begins real estate acquisitions, final design efforts, and early construction mobilization for 96th Street Station, and Gold Line Foothill Extension 2B to Claremont.