Cap Metro FY 2011: The Highs and Lows

Transit agency looks to partly cloudy budget future

Cap Metro FY 2011: The Highs and Lows
Photo by John Anderson

Capital Metro last week released its proposed fiscal year 2011 budget, totaling $228 million. We'll explore it in greater detail next week, but here are some highlights of the plan, subject to revision and approval by Cap Metro's board of directors:

Cash reserves are expected to grow, but not as quickly as in the past year. At the beginning of FY 10, the agency's reserves stood at a perilously paltry $3.8 million but were projected to stand at $15.7 million by the end of that fiscal year. In FY 11, the reserves are anticipated to grow only by $1.3 million to $17 million. The agency's ultimate target is $34 million.

Ridership is expected to drop by about 2.5 million riders to 31 million, due to fare increases enacted in FY 10.

Revenues from fares are expected to rise despite the loss of passengers, due to further proposed fare increases (mostly in multiride passes and the elimination of free fares), and overall revenue is expected to rise due to an anticipated 2.7% increase in sales tax revenue. Sales taxes account for 74% of Cap Metro revenue, with passenger fares providing only 6%. Other major sources include freight rail operations and grants.

Bus operations are expected to eat up 68% of the budget, paratransit services 17%, freight operations 7%, and MetroRail 6%.

Service hours will be cut by 10,299 – from 1.58 million to 1.57 million. A slight increase in bus and rail is more than offset by a big reduction in MetroAccess (the paratransit service for customers with disabilities unable to use fixed-route service): a drop of 32,928 hours – more than 10%.

Service miles will increase. Total service will jump from 20.1 million miles to 22.1 million miles. MetroAccess will gain 311,259 miles, increasing from 3.7 million to 4.1 million.

The transit agency's board of directors will hold a public hearing on the proposed new budget at noon Monday, Sept. 20, at its headquarters at 2910 E. Fifth, and will discuss and vote on the budget at 10am Friday, Sept. 24, at the same location. The entire budget document may be downloaded at

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Capital Metro
City and Cap Metro Contemplate How to Make a
City and Cap Metro Contemplate How to Make a "Real City” Transit System
Following the slow march toward a vote on a multibillion-dollar investment in public transit

Austin Sanders, Jan. 17, 2020

Mapping the Future of MetroRail's Green Line
Mapping the Future of MetroRail's Green Line
Jan. 10 is the last day to provide feedback on new rail line

Mike Clark-Madison, Jan. 10, 2020

More by Lee Nichols
Game Changer
Game Changer
A new football culture for Austin bars

Oct. 23, 2015

Beer Flights
Beer Flights
Celis: welcome home

Aug. 17, 2012


Capital Metro, budget

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle