Could State Budget Cuts Derail Late Night Train Service?
A lot has been made about a proposal by the Los Angeles City Council to run late night trains until 3 A.M. in the morning between November 1 and January 1 on Metro’s Red Line. While the proposal has earned praise in many quarters, the City Council has no authority over Metro, and with the Metro Board’s Subcommittee’s having met this week with no resolution on late night train service proposed or moved to the full Board, it seems unlikely that such a service could come online by November 1.
After next week, there is only one Board Meeting scheduled before November 1, the date the City Council suggested as the first day of the train service.
However, even in the Metro Board were resolved to bring late night trains online. Metro spokesperson Marc Littman pointed out over email with Streetsblog that while there has been talk of some public funding to run the trains, Metro would also have to run buses to support the increased train service.
You may remember that earlier this year it took months of advocacy and some creative budgeting by Mayor Villaraigosa to keep Metro from slashing existing late night bus service. While it may not seem like a lot of money to run more buses, estimates vary between $4,000 and $5,000 an evening, Metro seems to be in a perpetual budget crunch and the legislator and governor appear poised to balance the budget on the back of transit agencies.
Unless someone can come up with another $250,000 fast, the dream of late night bus and train service will probably remain unfullfilled.