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The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) reduced its structural deficit by 65 percent in fiscal-year 2017 compared with the previous year's deficit, the agency announced yesterday.The MBTA's deficit was $30 million in FY2017 versus $86 million in FY2016. In addition, core operating expenses for the most recent fiscal year were $6 million less than they were in the prior year. The agency attributed the results to cost control initiatives and increased revenue. Total revenue grew $63 million in FY2017 due to a fare increase and some one-time real estate transactions, MBTA officials said in a press release."While we fully recognize we have more to do, it’s important to document this milestone as we take another significant step forward in improving the [MBTA's] financial footing and, ultimately, getting us closer to improving our business operations and enhancing the delivery of service," said MBTA Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrator Michael Abramo.Meanwhile, the agency's fare recovery ratio — the percent of system operating expenses covered by riders — grew from 41 percent in FY2016 to 43 percent in FY2017. The MBTA also reduced its workforce by 300 people through a voluntary retirement incentive. The agency also expects its new labor contract with the Boston Carmen's Union Local 589 to save $219 million over ten years.To learn more about the MBTA's cost-reduction strategies and other reform efforts, read this feature in Progressive Railroading's February issue.
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