CLEVELAND, OH -- Federal dollars allocated to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) in response to COVID-19 made up for a loss of $20 million dollars in operating expenses in 2020, said Rajan Gautam, Secretary Treasurer/Deputy General Manager of Finance, today at a meeting of the RTA Board of Trustees.
During his report as Secretary/Treasurer to the Board, Gautam also said the loss in 2021 would have been an additional $50.2 million and the projected loss in 2022 would have been $46.8 million.
“But because COVID dollars were available to offset the operating losses, RTA is now projecting that its year-end balances will ensure the long term stability for the Authority,” Gautam said.
The three stimulus packages totaling $315 million are allowing RTA to cover operating losses, which in turn creates an opportunity to strategically address past financial constraints, Gautam said.
RTA’s projected ending balances will be prioritized to primarily support three areas, the operating budget, unfunded capital projects and debt reduction, he said.
“Because we were able to avoid such significant operating losses, RTA’s projected ending balances will be used to support the operating expenses representing 31% of the total, 50% will be used for unfunded capital projects and 19% for debt reduction,” Gautam said.
RTA is also projecting that it is not planning any staff layoffs or furloughs and is not planning any service reductions.
RTA’s Interim CEO and General Manager, Floun’say Caver said, “RTA is anchoring the organization for the future by stabilizing operational costs, funding capital projects and simultaneously paying debt service. RTA is a solid financial steward, creating long-term stability today and for the future, so we can continue to connect the community.”