NEWARK — The Fiscal Year 2012 operating budget approved by the NJ Transit Board of Directors yesterday maintains stable fares, while the capital program supports fleet modernization efforts and infrastructure improvements.
“Thanks to the support of Governor Christie, who has increased our state operating assistance during very difficult budgetary times, we are able to put forth an operating budget that allows for no fare increase this fiscal year,” said Transportation Commissioner and NJ Transit Board Chairman James Simpson. “We continue to position ourselves to be a stronger, more financially-stable agency that operates as efficiently as possible while responding to the transit needs of New Jersey residents.”
Last year the agency raised rail fares by 25 percent and eliminated off-peak discounts, raising costs of some trips by more than 40 percent. Bus and light rail fares went up 10 percent as NJ Transit was forced to close a $300 million budget gap.
The board approved a $1.895 billion operating budget and a $1.16 billion capital program for the fiscal year that started July 1.
The FY12 operating budget reflects an increase in state operating assistance of $33.2 million, which will enable NJ Transit to hold fares stable this fiscal year. More than half of the revenue in the operating budget comes from fares ($881 million), with the balance from a combination of commercial revenues ($104.3 million), state operating assistance ($309.4 million) and state and federal reimbursements ($600.2 million).
The FY12 capital program provides funding for continued investment in the state’s transit infrastructure to maintain an overall state of good repair and to enhance reliability and safety. It also supports NJ TRANSIT’s ongoing fleet modernization effort, including the continued procurement of more than 1,400 new buses, more than 400 multilevel rail cars and more than 50 electric and dual-power locomotives.
“The ongoing delivery of new rail and bus equipment will make NJ Transit’s fleet one of the youngest in the nation, and our continuous focus on critical infrastructure needs over the years has put the system in good shape going forward,” said NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein.
The capital program includes $64 million for investment in systemwide improvements, including $16 million for technology upgrades, such as Smart Bus, and $2.6 million for police department radios and equipment purchases.
Rail state-of-good-repair projects will be supported by $217 million in the capital program, including $37 million to replace track and ties and inspect and replace bridges. A total of $41 million will advance electric traction and signal improvements, and $5 million will fund ongoing locomotive reliability programs.
The capital program also includes $125 million for bus and light rail state-of-good-repair needs, including $2 million for Newark Light Rail infrastructure improvements and $79 million toward the purchase of new buses.
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