MBTA’s Financial and Safety Challenges Ahead – NBC Boston


MBTA Board members recently appointed by Gov. Maura Healy on Thursday bombarded officials with questions about budgetary issues and safety measures to try to restore confidence in the beleaguered transit system.

To provide a “historical perspective” on the budget shortfalls plaguing the agency, Board member and former senator and former mayor of Lynn, Tom Magee, reviewed the agency’s sales tax trends, temporary funding needs. , requested data over the past two decades on other issues. , whose safety flaws have been documented by federal investigators. “It’s going to be pretty tough in the next few years,” McGee said.

“I know we all want to make sure we’re all doing it the right way,” McGee said Thursday morning at a virtual MBTA Board Audit and Finance Subcommittee meeting. . Faced with a $366 million budget shortfall in fiscal 2024, the MBTA plans to draw $261 million from its deficit fund reserves, which is $9 million less than projected last November, CFO Mary said. Ann O’Hara said.

O’Hara said the strategy was necessary to “not further degrade the fiscal outlook,” and that other sources of funding, such as temporary state spending accompanying the Federal Transportation Administration’s safety mandate, would fill the remaining shortfall. Added wax. MBTA’s fare revenue recovery rate is pegged at 19% for fiscal 2024, which means operating expenses are outstripping revenue growth due to lower passenger numbers, O’Hara said.

This was 43% in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The payback rate may seem like a fraction, but it’s still hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s well over $400 million to support the billions we spend running the entire MBTA system. ,” said O’. Hara said.

MBTA’s new chairman, Thomas Glynn, has questioned whether the MBTA is adequately funding elevators and escalators. NBC10 Boston investigators recently addressed this concern, finding evidence of multiple escalator outages at stations throughout the system.

Glynn also asked how the debt burden of government agencies might continue to be affected by large-scale investigations. Staff said it still owes $1 billion.

Escalators are essential to keeping public transport accessible to all passengers, but escalators at some MBTA stations have been out of service for extended periods of time.

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