NEWARK — The NJ Transit Board of Directors today approved a Fiscal Year 2014 operating budget that calls for no fare increase for the fourth consecutive fiscal year, as well as a capital program that supports continued investments in infrastructure and equipment to maintain the system in a state of good repair and improve the overall customer experience.
“Thanks to NJ Transit’s commitment to operate as efficiently as possible, as well as a stable mixture of state, federal and other funding sources, we are able to put forth an operating budget that keeps fares unchanged for the fourth consecutive fiscal year,” said Transportation Commissioner and NJ Transit Board Chairman James Simpson. “Through NJ Transit’s Scorecard initiative, the agency continues to position itself to better respond to the transit needs of New Jersey residents while being a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars.”
“This budget will enable us to maintain and enhance New Jersey’s robust transportation system while responding to the needs of the customers who rely on our service to conduct life’s daily business,” said NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein. “We made a commitment to continue to hold the line on customer fares, and we are delivering on that commitment by implementing sustainable and fiscally responsible operating and capital programs.”
The board approved a $1.941 billion operating budget and a $1.228 billion capital program for the fiscal year that started July 1, 2013.
Nearly half of the revenue in the FY 2014 operating budget comes from fares ($920.6 million), with the balance from a combination of commercial revenues ($113 million) and state operating assistance ($73.2 million) as well as other state and federal reimbursements ($834.2 million).
The capital program funds continued state-of-good-repair investments in transit stations and infrastructure supports an ongoing fleet modernization program and advances service reliability, safety and technology initiatives.
The FY 2014 operating budget reflects a stable level of state, federal and other reimbursements, which will enable NJ Transit to hold fares stable this fiscal year. Approximately 58 percent of the operating budget is dedicated to labor and fringe benefits costs, which are being managed by departments throughout NJ Transit by strategically evaluating both staffing levels and functions. Other services include contracted transportation services, fuel and power, and materials which together compromise approximately 28 percent of the operating budget.
This year’s operating budget reflects a $26.4 million or three percent growth in passenger revenue. This is the result of incremental growth in both base ridership and the addition of new contracted route bus service. Overall passenger revenue and commercial revenue represents 53 percent of the total FY 2014 operating program.
The FY 2014 capital program continues to prioritize investment in infrastructure to maintain an overall state of good repair, while also enhancing reliability and safety. The program increased by more than $70 million when compared to FY 2013, representing increases in the federal formula program under the new MAP-21 federal authorization.
Highlights of the program include continued investment in rolling stock renewal, infrastructure replacement and Northeast Corridor (NEC) improvements. The NEC is allocated $60 million in FY 2014 as part of NJ Transit’s five-year, $600 million Northeast Corridor investment strategy that includes construction of a new midline loop and station, Portal Bridge replacement early action, Amtrak Joint Benefits projects and station rehabilitation at Newark Penn and Elizabeth stations.
Funding is also provided for technology upgrades and accessibility, including construction of high-level platforms at Perth Amboy and Lyndhurst stations.
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