MTS receives funding from a number of sources including the locally-approved sales tax TransNet (countywide half-cent sales tax approved by voters in 1987 and extended in 2004), state and federal funding, and fare revenue. The MTS share of TransNet funding is currently 1/8 of a cent.
When compared to peer agencies across the country, MTS receives far less of a public subsidy from its locally-passed sales tax than other transit agencies.
However, the agency still boasts one of the highest farebox recovery ratios in the nation, meaning over a third of its costs is paid by its riders. Here’s a look a revenue sources for MTS’ 2019 operating budget (approximately $280 million):
MTS has demonstrated its commitment to being an excellent steward of public funds, and to an open and transparent process. MTS is audited by federal, state and local agencies on a regular basis.
- In 2018, the agency received its fourth consecutive perfect triennial audit from the Federal Transit Administration, an unprecedented achievement.
- MTS’ Finance Department has received 12 consecutive Certificate of Achievement in Excellence Awards from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.
If a new sales tax measure is proposed and passes, it would also be audited each year to ensure that MTS maintains its strong record fiscal responsibility.