Advisory Board Composition
The chief elected official of each of the 175 cities and towns in the district, or his or her designee, is a voting member. Each municipality has one vote plus fractions of votes equivalent to its weighted proportion of the deficit (Chapter 161A, Section 7A). As assessments change, so does the precise weight of each municipal vote.
Advisory Board Mandate
- Provide public oversight of MBTA expenditure through a rigorous, MassDOT Board policy-mandated review of MBTA annual operating budget
- Review, advise, and confer with local leaders on the MBTA multi-year capital budget, The Program for Mass Transportation.
- Evaluate the Authority’s annual Capital Investment Program
- Receive notice of (1) substantial changes in mass transportation services, (2) fare changes (Chapter 161A, Section 5D)
- Consult with the Authority to create mechanisms for ensuring reliable, high-quality and cost-effective operations by establishing and implementing service quality standards (Chapter 161A, Section 5p)
- Consult with the Authority to maximize revenues, ridership growth and transit oriented development
- The Advisory Board has additional responsibilities in transportation capital planning. In accordance with other state and federal requirements, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Advisory Board and five other transportation agencies (MBTA, MASSPORT, MassDOT, and MAPC) was drawn up delineating a process for sharing both input and responsibilities of capital planning for the region’s transportation needs.
Advisory Board Activities
The staff researches issues requiring Advisory Board vote, provides analysis for Board committees, publishes reports for the Board, and coordinates meetings for the voting process.
Under the guidance of the Finance Committee, staff provides a detailed analysis of all MBTA budget proposals preparatory to Advisory Board votes. The Board also has a line item transfer policy, which ensures consistent control of Authority expenditures in line with an approved budget.
Working with the Board committees, staff monitor Authority expenditures, transfer of funds, and service delivery, enabling an analysis of trends and flagging of specific areas management might explore to further cost effectiveness and increase productivity.