Capital Metro proposes a new budget every September to guide the agency’s upcoming fiscal year, October 1 through September 30. Yesterday, the board voted unanimously on its $357.2 million budget for Fiscal Year 2016 and Capital Improvement Plan.
The budget includes $246.3 million for operating expenses and $110.9 million for capital projects. The budget is balanced, and meets statutory operating reserve requirements.
Major investments would include:
- Adding express service on MoPac managed lanes.
- Maintaining high-frequency bus routes.
- Making significant investments in replacing buses and vans for MetroBus and MetroAccess.
In addition, the adopted budget positions Capital Metro to begin the double tracking and other rail improvements along the Red Line that will double frequency and capacity on MetroRail. It also includes funding to increase capacity at the Lakeline and Howard Park & Rides, and continue the agency’s work with cities outside the current service area to provide much-needed transportation service to some of the fastest growing areas in the region, including Georgetown, Pflugerville, Round Rock, Hutto and Buda.
The budget reflects a fund balance projection of $97.2 million by the end of FY2016. Of this amount, Capital Metro plans to set aside $36 million in reserves for two months of operating expenses, which meets the level set forth by the Texas Legislature, $1 million for a self-insurance reserve, $26 million for City of Austin mobility programs and $7 million to begin funding a budget stabilization reserve. Using this approach will leave $27.2 million for state of good repair projects and future capital investments, such as new bus purchases to support expanded service and additional MetroRapid stations, all necessary improvements. The board also approved Capital Metro’s updated five-year capital improvement plan.
SERVICE CHANGES AND SERVICE GUIDELINES & STANDARDS
Capital Metro’s January 2016 Service Changes and its Service Guidelines & Standards were also approved unanimously by the Capital Metro board.
The service changes are designed to improve the rider experience while also maintaining system efficiency and expanding service. The changes will go into effect January 10, 2016.
Capital Metro’s Service Guidelines and Standards provide a set of criteria by which services can be assessed and informed decisions can be made regarding transit resource allocation. This document, updated on a biennial basis, reflects the agency’s mission and goals of providing both efficient and equitable transit services and will go in effect immediately.
For more information about all items approved by the board, visit capmetro.org or call the GO Line at 512-474-1200.