What is a capital project and what is an operating project?


Operating Projects fund programs and services, including salaries. Multi-year operating PB projects can win funding for a maximum duration of three years. Once PB project funds are spent, the project will end. Cambridge’s 10th PB cycle is the first year operating projects are eligible for PB funding consideration. Many City services like trash and recycling collection, animal control, the Fire Department, and Cambridge Public Schools, involve operating funds.

You can learn more about the City’s FY24 Operating Budget here.

Capital Projects fund infrastructure improvements, typically things that are bought or built. Most capital projects have some sort of associated operating cost, like the ongoing cost to maintain and clean a public bathroom. Capital projects could include open space amenities, transportation infrastructure, vehicle purchases, technological materials, and much more. Examples of previous PB capital projects include youth center upgrades, electric vehicle charging stations, basketball court upgrades, water bottle filling stations, and tree plantings.

You can learn more about the City’s FY24 Capital Budget here.