Metro has already issued debt – and is paying interest on that debt – payable by the transit capital subfunds. The agency has not issued debt from the highway subfund.
If Metro continues under currently approvals/plans, “there is insufficient future sales tax revenue to pay the transit interest.” To remedy this, staff are recommending the estimated $500 million from transit capital to highway capital, though the staff recommendation is that this decision be postponed until the financial picture becomes clearer.
It is also possible to transfer funding among projects at this time, especially where completed projects have not used all of their allocation. The staff report identifies three highway projects and one Rapid bus project anticipated to have a surplus.