Get to Know the Capital Investment Plan (CIP)
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Learn more about how the T is investing in infrastructure, workforce development, communications tools, and more.
What is the CIP?
The Capital Investment Plan (CIP) includes all capital projects and programs that we plan to invest in during the next five years. The plan is a priority-driven investment strategy shaped by carefully weighing the costs and benefits of proposed projects. The CIP is driven by the following overarching priorities:
- Improve the reliability of the MBTA’s transit system and modernize existing assets to accommodate current or anticipated growth
- Make targeted investments in the expansion of the transportation network to increase capacity or provide riders with more options across transit modes
We advance these priorities via specific programs, each of which we review and resize annually to align with our needs and strategic goals. Programs that advance reliability and modernization primarily focus on improving or enhancing assets such as vehicles, maintenance facilities, bridges and tunnels, and rails. Expansion programs fund the South Coast Rail project, the Green Line Extension, and the planning and design of additional targeted projects.
Reliability and modernization programs
Programs that prioritize reliability and modernization aim to ensure a state of good repair by investing in system-wide accessibility, capacity and technology upgrades, and other improvements that enhance the existing system.
Repairs, reconstructs, and replaces MBTA Commuter Rail and transit bridges and tunnels throughout the system to ensure safe and reliable service for riders. The program also includes culvert and dam projects.
Rehabilitates and upgrades maintenance and administrative facilities that support MBTA operations.
Rehabilitates, replaces, and upgrades all guideway, signal, and power assets across the Commuter Rail, heavy rail, light rail, and bus systems to ensure safe and reliable service for riders.
Rehabilitates and upgrades stations, stops, and parking facilities to improve accessibility, enhance the customer experience, and make navigation of the transit system easier for riders and visitors.
Rehabilitates and replaces the MBTA revenue fleet and non-revenue support vehicles to allow us to improve service reliability and ensure safety for riders.
Includes investments in technology to enhance productivity, modernize the system, and improve our quality of service.
Includes investments in a wide range of systems, including communications, safety and security, and asset management.
The CIP also includes investments in programs that extend and expand our transit network. Expansion programs provide more transit options and increase convenience of connections between transit modes.
Extension of Commuter Rail service to Fall River, New Bedford, and Taunton in southeastern Massachusetts.
Extension of the northern end of the Green Line from Lechmere to Union Square in Somerville and College Avenue in Medford.
Planning and design for other targeted expansion projects identified as next priorities.
How do we develop the CIP?
The annual CIP development cycle runs from September to June, beginning with an internal call for projects. Cross-functional evaluation teams representing diverse perspectives across the MBTA and MassDOT review and score the funding requests. Teams score projects using the following criteria mandated by the MassDOT Project Selection Advisory Council (PSAC):
- System preservation
- Cost effectiveness
- Environmental and health effects
- Policy support
- Economic impact
- Social equity
We prioritize funding recommendations to align with agency goals and project scoring outcomes. This allows us to match planned investments with available funding. A full draft of the five-year CIP, including both existing projects and new investments, is assembled and posted for public comment. We then refine the CIP further and submit it to the board of directors for approval before it is finalized and published in June.
When is the CIP published?
The FY 2023 – 2027 MBTA CIP is currently under development. The proposed five-year MBTA CIP is generally published in late March, followed by a 30-day public comment period. During this time, the MBTA holds public meetings throughout the service area to provide an overview of the draft CIP and record any verbal comments from members of the public. Public comments are also collected via email, letters, and an online form. All public comments are recorded and reviewed by MBTA staff. These contributions help us refine the proposed CIP and better understand our priorities for the following year.
After the public comment period has closed, we make updates to the proposed CIP as needed, and submit the plan to the MBTA Board of Directors for approval in late May. The final CIP is published on the Capital Investment Plan page before it goes into effect on July 1.
Where can I find previous MBTA CIPs?
Standalone documents for the MBTA CIP are available for the FY 2009 – 2013 through FY 2016 – 2020 CIP periods. Beginning with the FY 2017 – 2021 CIP, the MBTA capital program has been published as part of the statewide MassDOT capital investment plan.
Consistent with MassDOT’s approach, the FY 2023 – 2027 CIP will be the first five-year plan to be published since the FY 2020 – 2024 CIP, and the first since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
MassDOT / MBTA CIP documents, FY 2017 – present
The MBTA capital program has been included in the statewide MassDOT CIP since the FY 2017 – 2021 CIP. Links to the combined MassDOT / MBTA CIP documents are provided below.
*Because of the economic challenges facing the Commonwealth due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FY 2021 and 2022 MassDOT / MBTA CIPs were published as one-year maintenance-of-effort plans.
CIPs published by the MBTA, FY 2016 – 2020 or before
Links to combined MassDOT / MBTA CIP documents published in 2016 or before are provided below.