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MTA Riders Could See Huge Service Cuts

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Will this many buses be around at the same time on Wilshire if the MTA cuts happen? | Photo by LA Wad via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

Although yesterday brought the encouraging news of a service expansion for late-night weekend riders on the Red Line during the holiday season this year, this morning the news about MTA service overall is rather discouraging.

Because the MTA was involved in a top dollar "lease-back" loan program with failed financial corp AIG, they now need to find another company to work with. cbs2.com explains: "Between the late 1980s and 2003, the MTA sold its buses and rail equipment to investors and leased them back, with AIG providing $1 billion in loans to MTA." If the MTA can't find someone else to back them with the bucks, they will need to pay their investors back "hundreds of millions of dollars."

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So how does this affect the 1.5 million MTA users who ride the buses and rails daily (and in increasing numbers as the economy worsens)? Well, according to their CFO Terry Matsumoto the MTA, already reeling from the recent loss of over $100 million in state funding, "will have to cut service if officials fail to negotiate new deals."