Last week, the Capital Metro board of directors approved the fiscal year 2012 budget. Capital Metro’s new fiscal year began on October 1st with a balanced budget that maintains current transit service levels.
This is actually something to be excited about. In an economy like the one we’ve all been dealing with, Capital Metro passed a balanced budget without increasing fares, cutting overall service, or reducing our reserves. The Austin American Statesman recently published an op-ed by our President & CEO Linda Watson, in which she says:
“Through disciplined budget work, Capital Metro has reduced spending across the board by carefully scrutinizing every line item, delaying construction projects, leaving vacant positions unfilled and adjusting lower-performing bus routes…The bottom line is that Capital Metro is managing its business in a new, open, transparent and fiscally responsible manner, and we will continue to do so. That is what taxpayers, customers and employees expect, and that is exactly what we are going to deliver.”
Other transit agencies around the country have not been so fortunate to be able to pass balanced budgets without cutting service or increasing fares. Make no mistake, the next couple of years will be financially challenging for Capital Metro, too, but through hard work and internal sacrifices we have a good budget to carry the agency forward for the next year.
I would like to personally say THANK YOU to all of you who participated in this year’s budget process, including those who watched videos, submitted ideas on the icanmakeitbetter site, completed surveys, attended our public meetings, and stayed engaged in this process. Community involvement was critical in this process. You might be interested to know that our budget information was seen over 1900 times via the various online methods of involvement, in-person meetings, and targeted community outreach. This is part of our larger effort to improve business practices and transparency for which we were recently recognized by the Texas comptroller of public accounts.
Have a fabulous new fiscal year!