Capital Metro Board of Directors Approves FY2018 Budget
January 2018 service changes also approved
AUSTIN, Texas - Capital Metro's board of directors today approved the agency's budget for Fiscal Year 2018, along with the proposed service changes for January 2018. The FY2018 budget will take effect October 1.
By a unanimous vote, the board of directors adopted a $418.8 million budget, which includes $250 million for operating expenses, $17.3 million for payments to local governments and debt payments, and $151.5 million for capital projects.
Major capital investment projects planned in FY2018 include:
- Adding rail improvements to double the frequency and capacity of MetroRail service.
- Finalizing the design for the construction of a new, larger Downtown Station.
- Adding new MetroRapid stations, bus stops and bus stop amenities.
- Construction of a new 190-space Park & Ride facility in South Austin.
- Implementation of positive train control (PTC) on MetroRail.
The adopted budget will also provide funding for the continued replacement of vehicles, equipment and other assets as part of Capital Metro's federally required state of good repair program.
Funding has been included in the new operating budget for increased frequency and additional operating hours on MetroRapid service. In addition, significant bus service improvements will begin to roll out as part of the agency's Connections 2025 Transit Plan, starting in June 2018. The budget also includes funding for more MetroExpress service following the opening of the MoPac Express Lanes, and costs associated with the expansion of MetroRail service.
The budget reflects a fund balance projection of $76.1 million by the end of FY2018. Of this amount, Capital Metro plans to set aside $41.7 million in reserves for two months of operating expenses, which meets the level set forth by the Texas Legislature.
The projected balance also includes $1.1 million for a self-insurance reserve, $9.7 million in remaining grant funds from TxDOT for the construction of the Downtown Station, $12.6 million for the city of Austin mobility programs, and $11 million for the budget stabilization reserve.
The board also approved Capital Metro's updated five-year capital improvement plan.
Capital Metro sought input from the community during the budget development process through numerous involvement opportunities, including public meetings, online webinars, open houses, presentations to Capital Metro's advisory committees, and a public hearing to ensure feedback and suggestions were received.
Capital Metro's fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30.
JANUARY 2018 SERVICE CHANGES
Capital Metro's January 2018 service changes were also approved by the Capital Metro board today. A significant element of the change will be the addition of trips during morning and evening peak hours on MetroRail. This improvement is part of the phased implementation of Connections 2025.
In addition, select Local bus routes will also receive minor adjustments to their schedules in order to coordinate schedules and improve on-time performance. The changes will go into effect January 7, 2018.
The agency performs a continuous analysis of its service, and makes adjustments in January, June and August to streamline and improve service, and accommodate changes to ridership along routes. Prior to each service change, the agency conducts community outreach to obtain feedback from the public.
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Mariette Hummel, 917-592-8633