We’re waging a transportation revolution, and with it, we have the opportunity to be bold and tackle not only the infrastructure challenges of today but the challenges of tomorrow.
Last year Metro had 453 million boardings, taking vehicles off our streets and freeways. We opened two major rail line extensions: the Gold Line to Azusa and the Expo Line to Santa Monica. And from the start, both of those lines transcended our most liberal ridership projections, proving that the people of LA County are ready for more transit options and will take advantage of them when they become available.
With three more major rail projects currently under construction, the Regional Connector, the Purple Line subway and the Crenshaw/LAX Line, I think it’s safe to say we are becoming the transportation infrastructure capital of the world.
Along with the two rail lines opened last year, we launched the Silver Line Express Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line to provide faster and more frequent service between downtown LA and San Pedro.
We started the NoHo to Pasadena Express Line 501 bus from the Red Line in North Hollywood to the Gold Line in Pasadena, the first ever direct connection between the San Fernando and the San Gabriel valleys.
We continued our commitment to the environment by opening the new state-of-the-art Division 13 bus maintenance center in downtown Los Angeles.
Here at Metro, fiscal responsibility ranks right up there with safety as a primary concern. We take the gift of taxpayer dollars very seriously and we aim to be frugal, responsible, practical and accountable with what we are given. I’m proud to point out that Metro’s budget is balanced at $5.7 billion – a net decrease of $142 million from the previous year, due primarily to cost controls and increased fiscal discipline. And yet the budget provides funding to keep our system in a state of good repair.
We worked with our stakeholders and the Metro Board of Directors to develop our transportation plan for the future that became the basis for Measure M, the sales tax measure to support regional mobility.
Among our chief goals is to create an infrastructure inheritance for our children and theirs. We want to leave them with a developed mobility network that has been well planned and maintained and is in fighting shape 100 years from now.
Shortly after I arrived in Los Angeles last year, I told employees I wanted Metro to emerge as the best, most innovative, balanced and customer-focused transportation agency in the world. After a year of exciting accomplishments and determined effort by the Metro Board of Directors, our staff and the community, I see now that this goal is well within our reach.
So I invite you to review our progress through the pages of this book. I think you will agree that together, we produced an amazing year of successes.
Chief Executive Officer