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Rail News: Financials

MBTA unveils preliminary $2.02 billion operating budget for FY2017

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) staff earlier this week presented a preliminary $2.02 billion operating budget for fiscal year 2017.

Although the agency still faces an $80 million structural deficit, its "own-source revenue" has increased $10 million, driven primarily by advertising, MBTA officials said in a press release.

In addition, MBTA's fare revenue is expected to grow an additional $43 million as a result of a recently enacted fare increase of 9.3 percent.

The agency also will reduce wages by $15 million and cut overtime costs.

To eliminate its remaining deficit, the MBTA will pursue wage and benefit savings; flexible contracting; reducing vendor costs; reforming high-subsidy, low-ridership bus and commuter-rail lines; and increasing park revenue, agency officials said.

"This is not a business-as-usual budget," said MBTA Chief Administrator Brian Shortsleeve. "We are going to put the [MBTA] on a path to getting to balance."

The operating budget assumes a transfer of $100 million "Pay-go" capital and maintenance initiatives. Pay-go funds can be used to address major issues, such as upgrading old technology and completing the agency's winter resiliency work on track, rail and signals, MBTA officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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