The New Jersey Transit Board of Directors approved a Fiscal Year 2014 operating budget that funds a billion dollar capital program and will not include a fare increase for the fourth consecutive fiscal year.
“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.”
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 14 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 14 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 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. Overall passenger revenue and commercial revenue represents 53 percent of the total FY 14 operating program.
The FY 14 capital program increased by more than $70 million when compared to FY 1, 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 14 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.