See that ~100M green sliver in FY18? Every time the bus passes you by because it’s full, think of that green sliver. Every time the commuter rail cancels a train, think of that green sliver. When the T is running weekend/holiday schedules on big event days in Boston and the station platforms are jammed, think of those green wedges.
We don’t have enough operating budget for the MBTA. We’re not running enough buses, enough subway cars, enough buses. We’re probably not staffing enough preventative maintenance either. Our quality of service is down, because in addition to other things, there aren’t enough MBTA employees working during busy times. That’s an operating budget deficit, and hey lookie — the green sliver is money taken away from operating to spend on capital. That money should come from taxes instead (as should additional money for operating budget!).
Again … there is no magic, no free lunch. Baker is playing a three-card monte game here. If you’re wondering how he’s paying for the T’s capital improvements without new revenues … well, here it is.