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RTD Sues for $4.6 Million in Bus Funding

July 07, 1988

The Southern California Rapid Transit District, in an effort to get funding for two San Gabriel Valley bus lines that it had previously dropped, has filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission to receive the $4.6 million it needs to provide the service.

The two express lines were slated to be taken over by the fledgling Foothill Transit Zone, an alternate bus agency formed by 20 San Gabriel Valley cities and the county. But a ruling in June by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Eli Chernow in response to a challenge by RTD drivers' and mechanics' unions blocked the commission from funding the transit zone.

Backers of the zone say it can operate the lines for 50%less than RTD while providing better service. The transit zone would contract with Embree Bus Lines to provide service on routes formerly operated by RTD.

RTD dropped the lines in June, but Chernow ruled that the transit zone could not pick them up unless RTD gave formal consent. RTD has not given such consent, and its request for funding for the lines was refused by the commission.

County Supervisor Pete Schabarum, the primary backer of the zone and chairman of the commission, called last week's lawsuit a power grab by RTD.

"RTD's official position seems to be that only it can provide transportation service, no matter how costly, how scarce, or how bad," he said.

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