The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority last week unanimously approved a $1.62 billion operating budget for fiscal 2010, a plan that depends on $160 million from the state to help close a deficit of the same amount.
Rising debt service costs and sluggish sales tax revenue dedicated to the MBTA account for the budget shortfall. The authority’s principal and interest payments will increase by $77 million to $445 million in fiscal 2010, which begins July 1. Debt service payments absorb nearly 30% of MBTA’s revenues, according to chief financial officer Jonathan Davis. The agency has more than $5.2 billion of debt.