LA Metro has more money than expected. Where should it go?

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A Los Angeles Metro Rapid bus along Venice Blvd in Culver City, California. LA Metro is expecting almost $300 million more in revenue than it expected, which it plans to put toward more buses and trains. Photo by Amy Ta.

LA Metro is expecting almost $300 million more in revenue than it expected, thanks to sales tax money.

“We thought we’d be in a very precarious financial situation, and now we have a little bit of wiggle room to restore some of the services that have been slashed,” says Curbed urbanism editor Alissa Walker.

She hopes Metro will use the money, along with emergency federal funds expected from the Biden administration, to increase the number and frequency of buses and trains so they’re less crowded.

“We still have people using [Metro], and we still have people using it who are most at risk of getting sick and dying of COVID-19. We’re going to need that extra space,” she says, noting that maps show the worst outbreaks at places where people travel the most. 

Does Walker feel safe using public transit amid the pandemic? “I feel comfortable taking it, but I wouldn’t use it for a nonessential trip. I want to make sure the people who need to use it are getting the social distance they need.”

Credits

Guest:
Alissa Walker - urbanism editor, Curbed - @awalkerinLA

Host:
Steve Chiotakis

Producers:
Christian Bordal, Jenna Kagel, Kathryn Barnes