Massport Sets Fiscal Year 2014 Total Budget of $592 Million
Budget is a 2.5 percent increase and is planned around nine major initiatives.
BOSTON The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) today voted to approve a Business Plan and Budget for Fiscal Year 2014 of $592 million, which is a 2.5 percent increase or $14.4 million higher than the previous year. The budget reflects Massports commitment to key areas including: attracting new international and domestic service to propel the regions economic growth, safety and security, improving the customer experience at all Massport facilities, increasing high occupancy vehicle use and improving ground transportation access at Boston Logan International Airport, supporting initiatives in neighboring communities, and improving the financial performance of maritime operations.
About 70 percent of the budget -- $403 million will go to fund the day-to-day operations of the Aviation, Maritime and Real Estate business lines as well as the Authoritys support departments and 30 percent will go to the capital program to properly maintain the runways, terminals, roadways and docks that support the regional economy.
The FY 14 budget ensures not only that Massports critical infrastructure and its strong credit rating are maintained, it also supports investment needed to Massachusetts citizens, businesses and customers to connect with new markets, said Richard Davey, Chairman of the Massport Board and Secretary of Transportation for the Commonwealth.
Massport makes critical investments to increase the economic activity of the region and that is a priority of this budget, said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn. For 2014, Massport will invest nearly $1 million for the international incentive program that supports new entrants to un-served global markets, like Japan Airlines service to Tokyo and Copa Airlines service to all of Latin America through their hub in Panama City. Those two services will contribute an estimated $200 million in regional impact for the states economy and serve more than 100,000 passengers.
Massports International Route Incentive Program waives some fees for airlines in the first years of service and provides marketing support for new routes. Massport is hopeful that service to the Middle East and China could qualify for the incentive program in the next year or two. Massport has a similar incentive program for Worcester Regional Airport. The Authority will support new markets from the Airport, such as JetBlues service to Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale, which commences Nov. 7, with waived fees and marketing. Massport is increasing its Worcester Regional Airport budget by $1.4 million to $6.8 million to add new employees needed with commercial service returning to Central Massachusetts.
Safety and security are the top priority of Massport and the Authority will spend more than $70 million in personnel, technology, training and inspections to keep the people who use and who work at our facilities safe. Some $20 million will fund new security camera coverage, new access control and cyber security systems.
Massport will invest $35 million to improve customer service at Boston Logan in fiscal year 2014 with new costs of nearly $14 million for the operation of the new Rental Car Center and the unified bus system that will replace some 90 diesel powered vehicles with 30 Massport-owned clean diesel electric hybrid buses. The new buses will reduce vehicle miles traveled by 74 percent and will lower emissions. Other new customer service programs will include digital signage in the terminals.
Promoting the use of high occupancy vehicles to and from the airport is critical for environmental reasons and to ensure traffic can flow on airport roadways and there is space at the terminal curbs for vehicles. As part of the budget, Massport will continue to offer free Silver Line service from the airport to South Station. In addition, Massport will spend $4 million designing, fabricating and installing dynamic messaging signs that provide real-time HOV information, to passengers about buses that will take passengers to the Airport Blue Line T Station, the Rental Car Center; and the Logan Express bus system to four suburban parking lots. Last year, Massport, working with the MBTA, installed countdown signs for the Silver Line at all terminals. In the coming year, Massport will also invest in a new HOV ride share pilot program from locations inside Route 128.
The budget calls for more than $24 million to be spent in being a good neighbor by supporting summer jobs, donating to community causes and spending $19 million in payments in lieu of taxes to Boston, Winthrop as well as supporting the city of Chelsea, another $3 million will be spent maintaining the park system Massport operates in East Boston and South Boston.
To foster economic growth, job preservation and support the regional economy, Massport subsidizes Maritime operations at Conley Container Terminal by some $20 million each year. A business plan goal is to improve Maritimes financial performance by executing revenue and expense strategies. The budget calls for a $3.8 million increase which is supported by an anticipated seven percent increase in budgeted container volume.
Massport will increase hourly and monthly parking rates in South Boston, which is expected to add $245,000 in new revenue. Monthly parking rates will be up to $240, still below monthly rates in other area parking facilities. Hourly rates will rise by $1 or $2 depending on length of stay, but the daily parking rate of $28 will be unchanged. Parking meter rates will also remain unchanged.
The FY 14 budget contains some $6 million in cost savings resulting from reduced utility costs, from low natural gas rates and recent energy efficient system upgrades; the restructuring of Logan Airports shuttle bus service and maintenance agreement and other reductions in departmental budgets.
Massport is governed by a seven-member volunteer Board appointed by the Governor of Massachusetts. Throughout the economic downtown, the Authority which receives no state tax funding and relies only on the rates and charges it sets for its properties cut staff, and over the last five years the budget has grown on average less than the Consumer Price Index. Massport staff levels are down even as activity at its facilities are breaking records. Merit increases for staff on average are below the three percent that had been budgeted.
Boston Logan, 15 minutes from the intersection of Route 128 and I-90 and five minutes from downtown Boston, serves as the gateway to the New England region and offers nonstop service to 75 domestic and 33 international destinations and in 2012 handled 29.3 million passengers. Boston Logan is the Air Line Pilot Associations Airport of the Year for 2008 because of its commitment to safety. Over the past decade, the airport spent $4.5 billion on a modernization program that includes new terminals, parking facilities, roadways and airport concessions, and has been transformed into a world-class 21st Century facility. The airport generates $7 billion in total economic impact each year. You can find us on Facebook at facebook.com/bostonlogan and facebook.com/CruiseportBoston and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/bostonlogan and twitter.com/cruiseboston.