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Get to Know the Capital Investment Plan (CIP)

What is the CIP?

The Capital Investment Plan (CIP) is the five-year financial plan that funds all the MBTA’s capital projects. Capital projects are investments or activities related to acquiring, renewing, constructing, improving, or maintaining a capital asset, including project planning and design.

The plan is a rolling five-year capital budget shaped by carefully weighing the costs and benefits of proposed projects. There are two overarching focus areas for capital projects: 

  • Reliability and Modernization: Improve the safety and reliability of the MBTA’s transit system and modernize existing assets to reduce safety risks, lower maintenance costs, enhance system performance, and accommodate current or anticipated growth.
  • Expansion: Make targeted investments in the expansion of the transportation network to increase capacity or provide riders with more options across transit modes.

There are ten unique investment programs within these two focus areas that align with our needs and strategic goals. The investment programs are sized 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, facilities, bridges and tunnels, and rail infrastructure. Expansion programs fund projects like South Coast Rail, the Green Line Extension, and the planning and design of additional targeted expansions.

What types of projects are funded in the CIP?

Each of the CIP programs consists of multiple types of projects, described in more detail below.

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, maximize the lifespan of our infrastructure, and ensure the continued safety of our riders and employees.

Expansion programs

The CIP also includes investments in programs and projects that extend and expand our transit network. Expansion programs provide more transit options and increase convenience of connections between transit modes.

Learn more about our featured capital projects

How do we develop the CIP?

As we develop the CIP each year, we assess the implementation of all currently funded capital projects. Throughout the fiscal year (July 1 – June 30), all departments work to plan, design, or construct their projects. We use updated information about project progress as well as the amount of funding available for capital projects over the next five years as the basis of the next CIP cycle.

The annual CIP development cycle runs from September to June. Projects are proposed for funding by MBTA departments, and then go through a rigorous period of review and prioritization. Proposals are scored using standard criteria that align with our strategic goals:

  • State of good repair
  • Safety and security
  • Mobility
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Sustainability and resiliency
  • Policy support
  • Social equity
  • Economic impact

Asset condition data is used to inform State of Good Repair priorities. We prioritize funding recommendations to align with agency goals, asset conditions, and project scoring outcomes. This allows us to match planned investments with available funding. 

We assemble a full draft of the five-year CIP, including both existing projects and new investments, and post for public comment. Our public outreach process includes public meetings and the opportunity to submit comments through other channels, such as online surveys, comment forms, emails, and letters. After the public comment period closes, we publish our responses to public comments, refine the CIP further, and submit the final version to the Board of Directors for approval before it is published in June.

When is the CIP published?

The proposed CIP is generally published in March or April. Following the public comment period, the CIP is refined further and brought to the MBTA Board of Directors for approval later in the spring before going into effect on July 1.

Where can I find previous CIPs?

Visit the previous CIPs page

Capital Investment Plan

Learn more about the CIP

Capital Investment Plan

Learn more about the CIP