LOS ANGELES – The Metro Board of Directors Thursday approved an $8.8 billion budget for the next fiscal year.
Ahead of proposing the budget, Metro staff held a series of telephone town halls and public meetings to get feedback.
“We heard the public wanted a clean system, a safe system, more rail, more bus and reliable and frequent service,” said Metro Budget Management Analyst Michelle Navarro.
The budget includes nearly $263 million in funding for bus capital improvements and the NextGen Bus Plan, which is aimed at doubling the number of frequent Metro bus lines, provide more than 80% of its riders with 10 minute or better frequency, improve and expand service, ensure a quarter-mile walk to a bus stop for 99% of current riders and create safer and more comfortable environment for people use as they wait for buses.
Fact check: Metro is hiding $207m in funding for Inglewood monorail, listing it under Regional Allocations. Should they be required to move it to Transit Expansion since they also include Foothill Gold Line (built by someone else) in Transit Expansion? A scandal (for accountants) pic.twitter.com/Z12OW6kRzW— numble (@numble) May 26, 2022
About $296 million is allocated for public safety, including $170 million for law enforcement, $24.5 million for private security and $30.9 million for Metro transit security.
The budget also doubles funding for the Transit Ambassador program, from $20 million in the current fiscal year to $40 million in the next fiscal year.
The transit ambassador program was created last year to have people trained in de-escalation and customer service available to support transit workers and riders.
Funding for homeless and mental health outreach initiatives also increased by 43.2%, from $10.7 million in the current fiscal year to $15.3 million in the next fiscal year.
“We listened and learned to invest more in customer experience and this budget does reflect that,” Navarro said.
The budget also includes $634.1 million for the Highway Program, which includes capacity improvement projects, like street widening, as well as pedestrian safety and sidewalk improvements, express lane and HOV improvements and more.