Los Angeles Red Line:

Financing Decisions Could Affect This and Other Los Angeles County Rail Capital Projects

RCED-96-147: Published: May 14, 1996. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Red Line subway project, focusing on the: (1) project's estimated cost; (2) Authority's financing plans; and (3) Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) oversight of the project's quality control and assurance practices.

GAO found that: (1) as of February 1996, the project's estimated total cost was $5.9 billion; (2) project costs have increased due to construction problems, new construction requirements, and project enhancements; (3) additional design problems and pending lawsuits may further increase project costs; (4) the Authority plans to use $3.1 billion in federal funds and $2.8 billion in state and local funds to finance the project, but it may not realize about $380 million of the total; (5) the Authority may have to reduce the funding or scope of other rail projects, defer or cancel planned projects, or extend the project's construction schedule to cover current or future funding shortfalls, but extending the project's construction schedule could also increase costs; (6) in response to FTA actions, the Authority is reorganizing its quality control and assurance programs and increasing program staff; and (7) FTA has increased the number of on-site oversight personnel to improve project monitoring.

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