Mass. governor proposes $135M budget increase for MBTA

The new funding comes in part from increasing the existing per-trip assessment for TNC rides to $1

January 22, 2020
Gov. Baker budget proposal Massachusetts MBTA public transportation
Image: Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The administration of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker today filed its FY 2021 budget recommendation, which includes a funding increase for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and the Commonwealth’s transportation system as a whole.

"Our plan ... will make critical investments in the MBTA, our transportation system, and workforce development to keep the Commonwealth on track to support our booming economy," Gov. Baker said in a statement.

The administration says that in order to continue to deliver a safe, reliable, and effective transportation system, the proposed FY 2021 budget provides a total increase of $216.7 million for transportation entities throughout the Commonwealth. This includes $135 million in new support for the MBTA—the agency responsible for operating most public transportation services in the Greater Boston area—funded in part by increasing the existing per-trip assessment for Transportation Network Company (TNC) rides to $1.

The proposal dedicates 70 cents of this sustainable $1 assessment to the Commonwealth for transportation and the MBTA, providing approximately $73 million in this budget for the MBTA. The budget provides 30 cents of the assessment to local municipalities, which will triple the amount that local cities and towns receive from TNC rides.

The governor's office says that this funding will build upon efforts already underway to hire additional staff and contractors, expedite the completion of critical capital projects, enable proactive inspections to detect and address safety and reliability issues before they impact service, and implement enhanced maintenance procedures. It will also complement the latest five-year capital spending plan, which calls for the MBTA to spend $8.2 billion for FY20-24.

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SOURCE: Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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