Operating efficiencies and state support help keep fares unchanged; capital program targets infrastructure and equipment needs

July 13, 2011

NEWARK, NJ — The NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors today approved a Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12) operating budget that reflects the agency’s commitment to operate as efficiently as possible while maintaining stable fares, as well as a capital program that supports continued investment in infrastructure and equipment to maintain the system in a state of good repair. 


“Thanks to the support of Governor Christie, who has increased our state operating assistance during very difficult budgetary times, we are able to put forth an operating budget that allows for no fare increase this fiscal year,” said Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman James Simpson.  “We continue to position ourselves to be a stronger, more financially-stable agency that operates as efficiently as possible while responding to the transit needs of New Jersey residents.”


“This budget enables us to continue delivery of safe and reliable service to our customers while maintaining the state’s transit network in a state of good repair and modernizing our bus and rail fleets,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director James Weinstein.  “The ongoing delivery of new rail and bus equipment will make NJ TRANSIT’s fleet one of the youngest in the nation, and our continuous focus on critical infrastructure needs over the years has put the system in good shape going forward.” 


The Board approved a $1.895 billion operating budget and a $1.16 billion capital program for the fiscal year that started July 1. 


More than half of the revenue in the FY12 operating budget comes from fares ($881 million), with the balance from a combination of commercial revenues ($104.3 million), state operating assistance ($309.4 million) and state and federal reimbursements ($600.2 million).


The capital program funds 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 FY12 operating budget reflects an increase in state operating assistance of $33.2 million, which will enable NJ TRANSIT to hold fares stable this fiscal year.


For FY12, NJ TRANSIT faced a budget gap of approximately $170 million, caused primarily by increased operating costs for fuel, maintenance and contractual obligations.   


To address this gap, NJ TRANSIT maintained its policy of fiscal austerity and operating efficiency, and was able to reduce the original growth estimate to $85 million—an increase in expenses of less than 0.5 percent compared to FY11 when adjusted for mandatory cost drivers.  NJ TRANSIT will continue to pursue strategies such as hedging and locking in fuel prices, as well as non-passenger revenue opportunities, which have generated more than $100 million and reduce the agency’s reliance on taxpayer subsidy.


The budget assumes only modest revenue growth from increased ridership as a result of the continuing difficult economic climate.  This assumption will continue until regional employment trends begin to rebound.


Capital Program


The FY12 capital program provides funding for continued investment in the state’s transit infrastructure to maintain an overall state of good repair and to enhance reliability and safety.  It also supports NJ TRANSIT’s ongoing fleet modernization effort, including the continued procurement of more than 1,400 new buses, more than 400 multilevel rail cars and more than 50 electric and dual-power locomotives.


The capital program includes $64 million for investment in systemwide improvements, including $16 million for technology upgrades, such as Smart Bus, and $2.6 million for Police Department radios and equipment purchases.


Rail state-of-good-repair projects will be supported by $217 million in the capital program, including $37 million to replace track and ties and inspect and replace bridges.  A total of $41 million will advance electric traction and signal improvements, and $5 million will fund ongoing locomotive reliability programs.


The capital program also includes $125 million for bus and light rail state-of-good-repair needs, including $2 million for Newark Light Rail infrastructure improvements and $79 million toward the purchase of new buses.




NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 165 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.