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Rail News: Financials

Capital Metro OKs long-term financial plan


The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board recently approved a comprehensive financial plan to guide the Austin, Texas, agency through “several financial challenges” while increasing cash reserves to a projected $68 million by 2018.

The “landmark plan” outlines 10 agency goals, including implementing a federally mandated positive train control (PTC) system, Capital Metro officials said in a prepared statement.

The plan calls for phasing in PTC starting in 2013, with completion in 2017, for a total cost of $33 million. In addition, the agency plans to extend its rail-car lease to 2019 per the 2012 budget, resulting in a $122,500 savings.

The financial plan assumes moderate economic growth in the region, including a 3 percent to 4 percent growth in sales tax revenue, as well as moderate ridership growth.

“Capital Metro is juggling a number of fiscal priorities, with maintaining our service to customers being first and foremost,” said Linda Watson, Capital Metro’s president and chief executive officer. “This long-range financial plan allows us to make significant improvements to our service, like replacing aging buses and implementing MetroRapid, while providing funds to address federal mandates and to transition to a new labor structure.”

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More News from 12/21/2011