Advertisement

MTA OKs Transfer of $50 Million to L.A. County

Seeking to head off a raid on its budget from Sacramento, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Wednesday grudgingly gave tentative approval to a transfer of $50 million in transit funds to financially strapped Los Angeles County.

Transit chief Franklin E. White was instructed to negotiate a deal with County Chief Administrative Officer Sally Reed. White said he hopes to find a way to help the county while softening the blow on bus operations and rail construction.

“That’s a start,” state Sen. Richard G. Polanco said Wednesday. The Los Angeles Democrat said he still will pursue legislation shifting $48 million a year for four years from the MTA to the county.

Gov. Pete Wilson vetoed legislation that would have transferred $375 million over five years from the MTA to the county, but said he would consider a one-time, $50-million shift.

Advertisement

Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alatorre, an MTA board member, objected to the agency giving the county funds after raising bus fares.

Transit officials hope to work out a deal similar to one negotiated in Orange County. The MTA would provide funds for up to 10 years to the county--potentially adding up to a few hundred million dollars to fund health services or other county programs. In return, the MTA would receive county transit dollars, limiting its total net loss to $50 million.

“It appears it might work,” said county Supervisor Deane Dana. “The question is, what’s going to happen next year? We haven’t solved the problem.”


Advertisement