Report 95117 Summary - September 1995

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

The Joint Legislative Audit Committee requested that we review specific questions related to the commitments of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Originally, the Legislature approved Senate Bill 75 (SB 75) which provided that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors may annually adopt a resolution requiring a transfer to Los Angeles County's general fund of up to $75 million of the MTA's transit funds in each of the next five years. However, the governor expressed concerns regarding the long-range impact of SB 75 on transportation services in Los Angeles County and subsequently vetoed SB 75. As a result, the Legislature requested that we provide answers to specific questions regarding the MTA's long-term debt.

As of June 30, 1995, the MTA's long-term outstanding debt was approximately $2.9 billion and annual debt service requirements were approximately 19 percent of the MTA's operating expenses. According to its treasurer, the MTA plans to issue approximately $140 million in new long-term debt during fiscal year 1995-96. In addition, the MTA has pledged fare box revenues to finance the workers' compensation funding program and a new 26story headquarters building. Finally, according to the treasurer, the MTA used approximately $282 million of certain debt issues totaling $1.5 billion for the construction of the Metro Red Line.