T reduces $242M deficit heading into fiscal 2017

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2016/02/29/t-reduces-242m-deficit-heading-into-fiscal-2017/

The MBTA announced Monday it has reduced its projected deficit for fiscal 2017 by 45 percent, a $104 million reduction in the anticipated budget hole.

The transit agency said reduced operating expenses accounts for 75 percent of the reduction while increased revenues in real estate and advertising makes up the rest.

Gov. Charlie Baker proposed a budget allocation of $187 million to the T in fiscal 2017, the same amount it received through the state budget for fiscal 2016. Other dedicated state revenues make up about half the MBTA’s roughly $2 billion budget.

Savings from the initial projection of a $242 million deficit will be poured into capital needs of the system, with $70 million for signal upgrades on the Green, Red and Orange lines; $26.5 million for winter resiliency including new third rail on the Red and Orange lines; $3.5 million for track upgrades along the Worcester/Framingham commuter rail line.

The Boston Globe was briefed on the budget news ahead of the MBTA’s Monday morning announcement. The news arrives ahead of Monday’s planned discussions at the T’s Fiscal and Management Control Board of potentially eliminating the MBTA’s extended-hours weekend service and fare hike proposals that would increase costs to riders 6.7 percent or 9.7 percent.

— Written by Andy Metzger

Copyright State House News Service