LOS ANGELES COUNTY : MTA to Present Plan for Balancing Budget

Faced with a projected $300-million shortfall for the next fiscal year, a transit agency committee voted Wednesday to give the federal government a plan on how the agency hopes to get out of its budget hole.

The proposal gained urgency when a representative from the Southern California Assn. of Governments told the panel members that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s deficit puts federal transit financing for the entire region in jeopardy.

Association official Eric Roth told the committee that Los Angeles County is the only county in the area with a transit agency operating in the red. The MTA has a $126-million gap between operating expenses and revenue, and an additional $170-million shortfall in capital improvement funds. SCAG has been charged by the Federal Transit Agency to submit an overall transit plan for the Southland.