Costs Rise After Proposition A Implementation
Los Angeles public transport costs have escalated since implementation of Proposition A at the beginning of
fiscal year 1983. Proposition A provided sales tax funding for expansion of transit service. A similar ballot
initiative, Proposition C, was passed in 1991. The extent of escalation is illustrated by comparing unit costs to those of San Diego's
Metropolitan Transit Development Board (MTDB).
Competitive Tendering Drops San Diego Costs
San Diego's cost performance is attributable to conversion of 40 percent of its service to competitive tendering,
and the competitive ("ripple") effect on remaining non-competitive services. There has been only
negligible competitive tendering of Los Angeles (SCRTD/LACMTA) bus services. Unlike Los Angeles
policy is separated from operations in San Diego.
LA Costs $2.6 Billion More than Necessary
If Los Angeles costs per mile had declined at the San Diego rate, $2.6 billion less would have been
spent to produce the same bus service level.
LA Excess Spending 96% of Fares
The Los Angeles excess spending in 1997 relative to the San Diego trend --- $210 million --- is equal to
96.2 percent of the total fare income from on both
bus and rail services.
Ridership Little Changed Since Before Proposition A
The Proposition A dedicated public transport tax was imposed at the beginning of fiscal year 1983. For the first
three years the tax financed a reduced $0.50 fare. By the end of the reduced fare
program, ridership increased 40 percent, from 354 million to 497 million. Ridership has sinced dropped
22 percent, to 386 million, despite the opening of three new rail lines. Ridership is up nine percent
from the pre-Proposition A level, while local subsidies to transit have increased nearly $850 million