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STATE SUPREME COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF RTD IN METRO RAIL BENEFIT ASSESSMENT VALIDATION CASE

 STATE SUPREME COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF RTD
 IN METRO RAIL BENEFIT ASSESSMENT VALIDATION CASE
 LOS ANGELES, Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Supreme Court today ruled in favor of the Southern California Rapid Transit District in a case that will ensure $130.3 million in funding from commercial property owners for the Metro Red Line subway in Los Angeles.
 In a 5-2 decision, the high court upheld the district's right to assess owners of commercial properties around the stations a portion of the cost for construction of the Red Line. The decision thus validated the Benefit Assessment Districts created earlier by the RTD.
 The court's action allows the RTD to proceed with collecting the remaining 9 percent of the $1.45 billion projected cost of the first phase of the project.
 "The court held that the legislature did it right, and the RTD did it right," said Marvin Holen, RTD board president. "This major decision empowers the builders of transit systems to involve benefited property owners in helping pay for the construction and operation of these systems. In this era of private-government cooperation in public projects, this is a landmark decision.
 "The RTD carried this suit into the courts," Holen noted, "and as we move forward with the $150 billion rail system for the county, this financing system will be of paramount importance in making that system a reality. The decision balanced the costs and benefits of Metro Rail among all of the residents of Los Angeles County."
 The first phase of the subway project, featuring five stations and 4.4 miles of track stretching from Union Station to MacArthur Park, has been under construction since September 1986. The Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (LACTC) officially assumed control of rail system construction in July 1990, but RTD retains the sole statutory authority for the collection of benefit assessments.
 -0- 1/30/92
 /CONTACT: Bill Heard or Jim Smart of RTD, 213-972-4400/ CO: Southern California Rapid Transit District ST: California IN: SU:


EH-KJ -- LA038 -- 5569 01/30/92 20:38 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 30, 1992
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