NJ TRANSIT Adopts Fiscal Year 2015 Operating, Capital Budgets

The NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors approves a Fiscal Year 2015 (FY 2015) operating budget that holds fares stable for the fifth 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 enhance the overall customer experience.

“NJ TRANSIT is moving forward with a balanced, fiscally-sound budget that holds the line on fares for a fifth consecutive year and continues to deliver the same level of service to our customers,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim.  “We will continue to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible to best respond to the needs of the customers who rely on our service day in and day out.”

The Board approved a $2.019 billion operating budget and a $1.203 billion capital program for the fiscal year that started July 1, 2014.

Nearly half of the revenue in the FY 2015 operating budget comes from fares ($928.6 million), supported by a comparable amount from state and federal program reimbursements ($936.1 million) with the balance from a combination of commercial revenues ($113.7 million) and state operating assistance ($40.3 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.

Operating Budget

The FY 2015 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.  Other significant expenses include contracted transportation services, fuel and power, and materials, which together comprise approximately 28 percent of the operating budget.

This year’s operating budget reflects an $8 million (one percent) growth in passenger revenue, based on employment projections and ridership trends.  Overall passenger revenue and commercial revenue represents approximately 52 percent of the total FY 2015 operating program.

Capital Program

The FY 2015 capital program continues to prioritize investment in infrastructure to maintain an overall state of good repair, enhance reliability and safety, and improve the overall customer experience on the system.

The program continues to invest in upgrades to the Northeast Corridor (NEC), the agency’s most utilized rail line.  The NEC is allocated $76 million in FY 2015 as part of NJ TRANSIT’s ten-year, $1 billion Northeast Corridor investment program that includes funding for the new North Brunswick Station, the Mid-Line Loop-a new flyover track to improve Corridor operations and increase operational efficiencies-and upgrades to County Yard.

Highlights of the program include $46 million in rail station improvements, including $9 million for Elizabeth Station reconstruction, $5 million for Newark Penn Station improvements, and $12 million for projects to make Perth Amboy and Lyndhurst stations accessible to customers with disabilities.

The program also supports continued investment in rolling stock renewal, with $104 million invested in rail rolling stock improvements and $44 million toward the purchase of new buses.

Funding is also provided for technology and security upgrades, and rail, bus and light rail infrastructure improvements.

Approximately 40 percent of the capital budget comes from the Transportation Trust Fund, with the balance coming from federal and other sources.