Commuting can be stressful, time consuming, and expensive.
Train commuters pay $4,896 a year to trek back and forth to New York City from the Middletown Train Station, and that's not counting the parking permit, nor the last minute newspaper and coffee from the deli.
But at least the cost is not going up next year. In an announcement from the Board of Directors, NJ Transit said it will continue its three-year streak of holding the line on fare increases. The last fare increase came in 2010, and resulted in a 25% increase to interstate bus tickets and rail tickets, in addition to the nixing of the reduced off-peak ticket.
The Board of Directors recently approved a $1.904 billion operating budget and a $1.152 billion capital program for the 2013 fiscal year, which began on July 1, 2012.
Fares account for $894.2 million, which is nearly half of the operating budget. The remainder is drawn from about $109.8 million in commercial revenues, $363 million in capital transfers, and $536.9 million in state operating assistance and other state and federal reimbursements, according to NJ Transit.
The operating budget reflects a $13.2 million increase in passenger revenue and is split up to cover the cost of running the trains and buses. About 57% covers labor and fringe benefit costs while just under 30% is applied to expenses such as contracted services, fuel, and power.
The $1.152 billion capital program will be invested in infrastructure improvements, maintenance, and enhancing the reliability and safety of the transportation system, according to NJ Transit. It will also help fund an ongoing effort to modernize the fleet, including the continued acquisition of more than 1,400 new buses, more than 400 multilevel rail cars and more than 50 electric and dual-power locomotives, according to NJ Transit.
“By implementing sustainable and fiscally responsible operating and capital programs, we are able to maintain and enhance New Jersey’s robust transportation system while responding to the daily transit needs of our customers,” said NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein.