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The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (LACMTA) board adopted a $5 billion budget for fiscal-year 2014, an 11 percent increase compared with FY2013.The plan will maintain fares at current levels, however LACMTA Chief Executive Officer Art Leahy urged board members to begin discussing fare restructuring for future years.LACMTA riders pay 26 percent of the cost to operate buses and trains, agency officials said in a press release.The budget reflects major rail and highway planning, design and construction work as called for under the voter-approved Measure R. In FY2014, LACMTA will spend $1.3 billion on Measure R transit projects and $141 million on Measure R highway projects.LACMTA also plans to spend $261 million on deferred maintenance for bus and rail vehicles and facilities, and another $37 million on capital improvement for safety and security, including $20 million for gates and other safety enhancements on the Metro Blue Line.In total, the budget includes $165 million — $13 million more than FY2013 — for safety and security, including law enforcement on the Metro system, in addition to capital improvements and passenger safety and security measures.Gates in the subway and many of the agency's light-rail stations will be latched, a phased-in approach that will start June 19. The new fiscal year starts July 1.Also in the next fiscal year, LACMTA officials expect to unveil a Union Station master plan that will determine how the historic facility will accommodate transit system expansion. In addition, transit design and early construction will advance for the Purple Line subway extension, the Regional Connector rail line that will connect the Metro Gold, Blue and Expo lines to eliminate transfers, and the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor light-rail line. Construction is well under way for the Expo light-rail segment from Culver City to Santa Monica, and the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension from Pasadena to Azusa, and will continue into FY2014.
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