NEWARK, NJ — The NJ Transit Board of Directors adopted a Fiscal Year 2018 operating budget and capital program on July 12 that supports continued investments in infrastructure and equipment to maintain the system in a state of good repair and enhance the overall customer experience, according to a press release from NJ Transit.
“NJ Transit is moving forward with a balanced budget that reflects a laser-like look at individual business lines in order to maximize efficiencies and maintain a safe transportation system,” Executive Director Steven H. Santoro said in the release. “As transit professionals, we owe our customers and stakeholders a solid plan that has the least impact on our riders. After much hard work, I am confident we delivered on that.”
The board adopted a $2.218 billion operating budget and a $1.367 billion capital program for Fiscal Year 2018.
Almost half of the revenue in the FY 2018 operating budget comes from passenger revenue at $1.014 billion, supported by a comparable amount from state and federal program reimbursements at $947.7 million, with the balance from a combination of commercial revenues at $115.2 million and state operating assistance at $140.9 million.
The capital program calls for continued investment in the state’s transit infrastructure to maintain a continued state-of-good-repair and provide reliable transit service.
The FY 2018 operating budget reflects an increase of state and federal reimbursements, which will enable NJ Transit to meet the agency’s projected expenses this fiscal year, according to the release. Approximately 61 percent of the operating budget is dedicated to labor and fringe benefits costs. Other significant expenses include materials and supplies and purchased transportation, which equal 25 percent of the operating budget.
Overall passenger revenue and commercial revenue represents approximately 51 percent of the total revenue.
The FY 2018 capital program continues to prioritize investment in infrastructure to maintain an overall state of good repair, enhance safety and reliability, and improve the overall customer experience on the system. Additionally, NJ Transit continues its financial commitment to Positive Train Control, according to the release.
The program continues to invest in railroad bridge rehabilitation, track replacement, signal upgrades, repairs to overhead power lines and electric substations as well as investments into the state-of-good-repair of the Northeast Corridor, the agency’s most utilized rail line.
Approximately 53 percent of the program funds the basic capital program improvements needed to maintain and improve the transit system, including $201 million in rail infrastructure needs and $109 million in rail rolling stock improvements.
Other highlights of the program include $47 million in rail station improvements: $3 million for Cranford Station; $9 million for Elizabeth Station; $18 million for Perth Amboy Station; $2 million for Roselle Park Station; and $6 million for other station and terminal improvements, inspections and repairs.
The program also supports continued investment in the light rail system with $168 million being invested in bus and light rail infrastructure improvements: $99 million for replacement vehicles; $11 million for the Capital Asset Replacement Programs for both the Newark Light Rail and Hudson-Bergen Light Rail systems; and $17 million for bus passenger facilities and bus support facilities/equipment.
In addition, this budget allows for $86 million to be invested in systemwide improvements including: $9 million in technology improvements and $6 million for safety improvements; $33 million in system expansion improvements, including $29 million for Northern Branch Expansion and $4 million for the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Route 440 Improvement.
Approximately 50 percent of the capital budget comes from the Transportation Trust Fund, with 47 percent from the Federal Transit Administration and Federal Highway Administration, and 3 percent from other sources.