Check out our numbers: 2013 Budget

As a public transit agency, we know you want to keep up with what’s going on at Capital Metro. From service changes to our budget–we want to keep you in the know.

Recently, we worked on our new budget. On Monday, September 24, 2012, the Capital Metro board of directors adopted a $274.5 million project and operating budget for Fiscal Y2013, which takes effect Oct. 1, 2012. The budget was approved in a unanimous vote, which went into effect this month.

In our continued efforts in maintaining financial transparency online, we updated our website with the latest budget information available. View all the in’s-and-out’s of the new budget at capmetro.org/budget2013 or download the full version here.

What you’ll find online:

– The approved 2013 Budget, available for download

– A breakdown of where our budget goes

– Charts of revenue and operating expenditures

– Past annual and monthly budget reports

The FY2013 budget was balanced without reducing service levels or increasing fares, and allows us to continue building our reserves, which will keep us strong and financially stable in the years to come.

The $274.5 million FY2013 budget consists of a:

  • $193.9 million operating budget, and
  • $64.3 million capital budget, and
  • $16.2 million to fund interlocal agreements and other expenses.

As a result of both board and public feedback, $250,000 in additional funding was added to the Basic Transportation Needs Fund, which provides financial support to organizations such as One Voice Central Texas to assist low-income transit-dependent riders, along with an additional $482,235 for the Bus Stop Accessibility Improvement Project (bringing the total commitment for the project to $2,478,130).

“We’ve made much progress during the last few years to strengthen our financial position and enhance our business practices. We’ve changed our labor structure, made bus service more efficient and adopted rigorous financial policies, all in an effort to improve the way we do business,” said Capital Metro President/CEO Linda Watson.

Capital Metro’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2013 Budget

Bus

Our fiscal year budget planning process is underway (our fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30). Our financial team and board members continue to be busy fine tuning our financial plans based on community feedback.

We’re holding steady in a tough economy

The total proposed FY2013 budget is $274.4 million, which includes both capital and operating budgets.

We have made great progress the past few years in strengthening our financial position and improving our business practices. We have changed our labor structure, discontinued free fares, made bus service more efficient, and adopted rigorous financial policies, all in an effort to improve the way we are doing business. And we’re transparent about how we do business—our financials are posted online, and updated regularly.

Now, with a tough economy that is slowly rebounding (more than 60% of our budget comes from sales tax), coupled with some major investments we’re making in our system, we’ve known for a while that FY2013 will be the toughest fiscal year in Capital Metro’s recent history. But the good news is that through sound management and board policy direction, the proposed FY2013 operating and capital budget was balanced without reducing service levels or increasing fares, and without reducing the fund balance as much as previously anticipated.

We want you know that Capital Metro is successfully responding to the challenges it has faced in recent years and is proactively helping Central Texas solve its transportation problems.

What we’re investing in progress

Our proposed FY2013 budget funds key strategic priorities, including labor structure, building our reserves, repair needs, safety initiatives to meet Federal mandates and Sunset Commission recommendations, and upgrades to our line that can no longer be deferred. For example,

  • We’re buying more than 50 new buses to replace our aging fleet–this means more new buses along our neighborhood routes
  • We’re investing in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), radio replacement, and Positive Train Control. (PTS, a federal unfunded mandate, is a system of functional requirements for monitoring and controlling train movements to provide increased safety.)

We’re investing in transportation solutions for all

During the budget development planning process, we’ve sought input from the community to ensure that our priorities are in line with the community’s transportation related concerns. Some of the most pressing ones we heard from social service agencies, our Access Advisory Committee, ADAPT, other members of Austin’s disabled community, and the general public at-large are related to fares, service, and accessibility. We want you to know that in FY2013, our budget includes:

  • No fare increase
  • No reductions in our overall service
  • Breaking ground on MetroRapid, a fast, new, high capacity service which will serve our busiest corridors (starting in 2014)
  • $2.4 million bus stop accessibility improvements
  • $250K contributed to the Basic Transportation Needs Fund, which supports non-profit organizations in assisting low-income transit dependent individuals’ access to transportation

Your Feedback Matters

Adopting a sustainable budget while investing in quality and innovation will help Capital Metro deliver on its promise to its customers and taxpayers to provide effective services that meet the Austin area’s transportation needs.

We encourage you to keep talking to us. We’re listening. Join us on

More information, including a copy of the proposed budget book and a webinar presentation with Frank Ordaz, our Director of Financial Planning, can be found at http://www.capmetro.org/budget2013/

Capital Metro approves a long-range financial plan

Yesterday afternoon, the board of directors approved a long-range financial plan that incorporates the forecasts for revenue and expenditures and financing options for Capital Metro for the next seven years. The plan itself is not posted online yet, but here’s an overview.

This landmark plan outlines a strategy to address several funding challenges over the next few years while increasing our savings to a projected $68 million by 2018.

As outlined in Capital Metro’s new strategic plan, we are taking steps to strengthen the financial health of the agency. The long-range financial plan will help Capital Metro meet its financial goals by:

  • Maintaining current service in the short-term
  • Providing funding for bus fleet replacements
  • Helping meet cash reserve targets of Senate Bill 650
  • Continuing MetroRapid plans as scheduled
  • Planning for federally-required Positive Train Control implementation
  • Supporting the labor structure transition

Of significant concern has been ensuring that Capital Metro’s ageing fleet can be replaced on a regular schedule. The long-range plan includes a seven-year strategy that will replace a total of 292 vehicles.

That strategy includes Capital Metro borrowing $20 million to jumpstart the vehicle replacement program in FY2013-14 and to allow the agency to stay on track to meet the Texas Legislature’s cash savings requirements as specified in SB650. Capital Metro expects to save millions in vehicle maintenance costs over the life of the loan.