Will cities owe HRT this year?

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) –Will the cities of Hampton Roads Transit owe money again this year? The head of HRT said early projections look like the cities will actually get money back, but those numbers aren’t set in stone.

Last year, HRT’s budget did not match the revenue brought in. A spokesperson said a combination of soaring maintenance fees along with ridership decline led to the deficit. The six cities that HRT services owed more than $5 million in the fiscal “true up.”

Hampton Roads cities make plans to pay HRT bills

But, if the books for this year closed in April, you would see a completely different picture.

“There’s a true up process every year. Many times we give the money back to the cities like we intend to do in 2017,” HRT CEO William Harrell said.

Harrel said that the projections in April show four of the six cities getting funds back to them. Norfolk would get the most, with just under $1 million. Only Newport News and Portsmouth would owe money.

However, Harrell said those numbers are subject to change. They will have a better idea of the exact numbers in the fall.

“The good news is we put in several cost saving measures. We got some additional state revenue in so we are going to end in a strong financial situation for 2017,” Harrell said. “We are hoping in the future any years where money would come back, could go into a reserve fund, for times when there are difficult financial situations.”