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Southern California Transit Advocates is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, development and improvement of public transportation in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Formula Allocation Procedure

At the November 28, 2007 Metro Board meeting consensus was reached by stakeholders to adopt the modified Los County Municipal Operator's Association (LACMOA) proposed revision to the FAP.

To date Metro staff have made available no analysis of the impact of the adoption on funding allocation. The new procedure has been implemented as reflected by the most recent transportation funding allocations for Los Angeles County:

For historical reference we present below information and the various proposals that were part of the process of FAP revision.

The Metro Library has prepared a factsheet outlining the Formula Allocation Procedure by which federal, state and local operating funds are divided among transit agencies in Los Angeles County: http://www.metro.net/about_us/library/images/Formula%20Allocation%20Procedure.pdf

Two proposals were made per this report to the Foothill Transit Board; Metro staff prepared an analysis of the Fasana proposal and its impact. In addition, Foothill staff prepared discussions of their proposed fare increase and its impact.

The June 21, 2007 Metro Executive Management and Audit Committee meeting included agenda item #34, a motion by Donald Knabe, Bonnie Lowenthal and Pam O'Connor to adopt the Los County Municipal Operator's Association (LACMOA) FAP revision proposal, and item # 51, a revised version of the motion by John Fasana. Both proposals were withdrawn when brought before the Metro Board to allow for further negotiation.

At the July 26, 2007 Metro Board meeting the Fasana and LACMOA proposals were again agendized for possible adoption. At the same meeting the annual transit funding allocation took place.

A May 15, 2007 memo from the Los Angeles Dept. of Transportation to the L.A. City Council Transportation Committee includes comments on the potential impact of FAP changes to funding of LADOT transit services.

The statutory authority and procedures for changing/amending the FAP are contained in the Califonia Public Utilities Code Section 99285.

The FAP applies to:
1. State Transportation Assistance (STA) funds.
2. Transportation Development Act (TDA) Article 4 funds.
3. The federal Urbanized Area Formula Funds Program.
4. Formula Equivalent Funds (the portion of Proposition A Discretionary funds -- also called "Proposition A 40%" -- that grow over CPI; if this is less than the CPI, Proposition C 40% Discretionary money is substituted).
5. Proposition A Incentive Program funds (5% of the Prop A 40%).
6. Foothill Transit Mitigation (funded from Prop C 40%).
7. Transit Service Expansion funds (funded from Prop C 40% and increased annually by CPI).
8. Discretionary Base Restructuring (was originally Prop A 40%, is now Prop C 40%).
9. Bus Service Improvement Program (Prop C 40%).
10. Municipal Operator Bus Service Improvement Program (funded by Metro, increases by 3% each year).

The FAP distributes funds to the following operators only:
Culver City
Foothill TZ
La Mirada
Long Beach
Redondo Beach (BCT)
Santa Clarita
Santa Monica

These are known as the included and eligible operators who meet on a monthly basis as the Bus Operations Subcommittee.

Metrolink, as a multi-county Joint Powers Authority, is not affected by the FAP. It instead receives funding from MTA via Proposition C's 10% designated for commuter rail, construction of transit centers, park and ride lots and freeway bus stops.

Many cities have circulator systems funded through the local return component of the two Propositions; Proposition A specifically calls for such money to go to transit improvements while Proposition C local return is much more general and includes generic signal synchronization (as opposed to Rapid Bus priority), bikeways, repaving streets with buses running on them, and pavement management. They meet on a monthly basis as the Local Transit Systems Subcommittee. More details about local return can be seen in the Guidelines for their use.

A few more explanatory notes:

Proposition A and C Interest Funds, which are discretionary and can be appropriated at the discretion of the Metro Board of Directors, can be used to mitigate a Metro Operations shortfall. If not used for that purpose, they can fund any other existing program that uses the FAP.

Formula Equivalent Funds (#4 in the above list) were created in 1991 when AVTA and Santa Clarita became "eligible" operators and LADOT became an "included" operator. These funds, which are above FAP funding levels, were added to keep the previous operators whole, and Foothill also gets some of these funds.

Commerce receives FAP funds under a special "zero fare compensation" method, because it charges no revenue for its transit services. Their share is based on vehicle service miles times two.

The Foothill Transit Mitigation (#6) was added in 1996 to keep the other "included" operators funding whole while allowing Foothill to be one of those operators. (They receive the largest amount of FAP funding, outside of Metro.) There is a complicated calculation for this based on how much Foothill has grown since 1995.

A big thanks to committee members Kymberleigh Richards and Hank Fung for their assistance in the enhancing of this section.