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MBTA balances operating budget for first time in a decade

The agency still faces "strong fiscal headwinds on both the cost and revenue sides of the ledger," said Chief Administrator Michael Abramo.
Photo – MBTA's Livestream account


The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has balanced its operating budget for the first time in 10 years, agency officials announced earlier this week.

The MBTA's $2 billion operating budget for fiscal-year 2018 was expected to carry a $30 million structural deficit. However, the agency was able to balance the budget through revenue growth and cost controls, according to a report to the MBTA's Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB).

The primary driver of revenue growth stemmed from an increase in "own-source revenue," which includes funds generated from advertising sales, real estate revenue and parking. The MBTA's own-source revenue more than doubled from FY15 to $88 million in FY18.

Additionally, core operating expense growth held flat for the third consecutive year.

"These are enormous achievements, but they're also precarious ones. The [MBTA] still faces strong fiscal headwinds on both the cost and revenue sides of the ledger," said MBTA Chief Administrator Michael Abramo told the FMCB on Aug. 13.

Established in 2015, the fiscal control board was created to help solve the agency's budget problems. To learn more about the MBTA's turnaround efforts, read this feature in Progressive Railroading's February 2017 issue.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/16/2018