Governor rejiggers funding for the T
Extra funds split between operating, capital costs
GOV. CHARLIE BAKER’S BUDGET PROPOSAL for the coming fiscal year calls for giving the MBTA about $60 million less to cover its operating expenses.
By law, the T receives a penny of the state sales tax to fund its operations. It has also been receiving an extra $187 million annual state budget appropriation to cover budget shortfalls. Baker’s fiscal 2018 budget proposes giving the T $187 million again, but $127 million would come in the form of an appropriation to help cover operating expenses and $60 million would be bond funds for capital projects.
Brian Shortsleeve, the T’s chief administrator and acting general manager, said in a telephone interview that Baker’s proposal makes sense because the transit authority’s operating deficit is shrinking while its capital needs remain significant.Shortsleeve said the T had projected it would be facing a nearly $40 million budget deficit through the first six months of this fiscal year. But he said the actual shortfall was $22.5 million, 43 percent less than the forecast.
“At the T we’ve come a long way,” Shortsleeve said. “We are trending in a very positive direction.”