School Funding

LA Metro Board to vote on pilot program free spins – NBC Los Angeles


On Thursday, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s executive management committee will consider approving a 23-month pilot program to make LA Metro buses and trains free for students starting in August and all low-cost commuters. returned from January.

If approved by the committee, the pilot program will then go to LA Metro’s board of directors for final approval.

LA Metro currently offers discounts to people earning $ 39,450 per year or less, people aged 62 and over, veterans and people with disabilities, K-12 students, and those in college or at vocational school.

Under the proposed pilot program, K-12 students and community college registrants of all incomes would be the first to ride the Los Angeles subway for free, with this phase slated to begin in August. Low-income users, who represent 70% of Metro ridership, would be phased in from January 2022. Funding should be secured for the second phase, according to the council.

“We need to get people back to school. Our community college district is suffering, our schools are suffering, our transit system is suffering,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said at the April 22 board meeting. Garcetti is chairman of the board and the general management committee.

A 23-month pilot project for K-12 and community college students would cost $ 49,179,167 in lost tariff revenue. Fare revenues fund transit operations and maintenance, but Metro receives additional funding through sales tax and state and federal grants. Additional funding options for the pilot identified by LA Metro officials include advertising revenue, cost sharing, and grants through the Traffic Reduction Program.

Garcetti said at the April meeting that they “will leave no stone unturned when it comes to funding,” and stressed the need for federal, state and county municipalities to participate. He added that organizations like LAUSD should provide funding, as the dead end system will likely increase school attendance and, as a result, increase funding for schools.

LA Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington expressed confidence that the federal government led by President Joe Biden would provide funding for the pilot project and ongoing funding for a dead end metro system in the future. .

He noted that Los Angeles County is the most diverse county in the United States, and the LA subway system has the highest percentage of low-income passengers in the country.

“So we think what we’re doing fits perfectly into the Biden-Harris administration’s ‘Justice Initiative40’ … so what we’re saying is we’re in the best position in this country with the optimistic approval of a pilot project next… months to be that test for the federal government. “

In a survey with around 46,000 responses, LA Metro found that 86% of metro riders and 80% of non-Metro riders support not going far.

However, LA Metro’s Dennis Tucker told board members on April 22 that an internal survey with 1,968 responses found that only about 45% of people within LA Metro support the initiative without distance.

Janice Hahn, LA County Board Member and Supervisor, expressed concern about the impact this dead end initiative would have on the quality of the transit system and become a “get your money’s worth” system. money ”where people do not pay and therefore have to expect problems.

“This advice has been so clear about our service to our customers so far. We really wanted to invest more money in our buses, we want to invest more money in making the stations clean and appropriate, and I get a little worried when the staff say we can cut some of what we spend on the bus. transit service without any impact, ”she said at the April meeting.

“I think we are all concerned that at some point that would mean it would result in dirtier buses, less service, dirtier stations, our buses and trains could break down more.”

The pilot project – which would end on June 30, 2023 – would allow LA Metro to test the feasibility of eliminating all fares on metro trains and buses for good. Once the pilot is complete, the board would consider extending, modifying or discontinuing the service without distance. To help inform this decision, LA Metro staff would report to the board monthly on the status of the pilot program.

Parameters that will assess the success of the program may include financial viability, program participation, increased boarding of pilot participants, level of service, quality of service, increased travel of low-income passengers , employee safety, passenger safety, system safety, according to Doreen Morrissey, senior transportation planner for LA Metro.

In April, Dennis Tucker of LA Metro told council members the program would provide financial assistance to low-income riders and students and bring ridership back to the metro system.

“We would be the largest transit agency in the world to implement such a program,” said Phillip A. Washington, CEO of Metro.

LA Metro’s executive board will review the pilot program at its meeting Thursday at noon. People can watch the meeting here.


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