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NJ Transit okays two new budgets
Thursday, July 12, 2007
BY TOM FEENEY
The NJ Transit board yesterday approved a $1.3 billion capital budget that provides money for new buses and rail cars, expanded park-and-ride facilities, expanded rail and light rail services and major track, bridge and station improvements.
"This budget enables us to provide more service to more customers while keeping core system cost growth down to inflationary levels," NJ Transit executive director Richard Sarles said. "It also enables us to continue to invest in moderniz ing our bus and rail fleet, while improving stations and parking for our customers."
About half of the money for the capital programs will come from the Transportation Trust Fund, which is funded by the taxes New Jersey drivers pay on gasoline. Most of the rest will come from federal sources.
Some $356 million will be spent on capital maintenance, the largest single category in the budget. More than $218 million will be spent on rail maintenance, and $132.2 million will be spent on bus and light rail maintenance.
Nearly $288 million will be spent on debt service, making that the second-largest category in the budget.
The transit board also approved a $1.6 billion operating budget. That budget required a fare hike of 9.6 percent. The higher fares went into effect June 1, a month before the start of the new fiscal year.