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New Jersey's new transportation budget sees lowest growth in 15 years
New Jersey got a new transportation budget last week. The state's Transit Board approved a $1.9 billion operating budget and a $1.2 billion capital budget for FY 2013. This year's transportation operating budget grew by one half of one percent, the second lowest growth in 15 years.
The site Progressive Railroading reports that almost half of the $1.9 billion operating budget, approximately $894 million, will come from fares. The rest will come from capital transfers, commercial revenue, operating assistance, and reimbursements from state and federal programs. 57 percent of the transportation operating budget will pay for labor and fringe benefits.
To the glee of transit consumers, there was no fare increase for New Jersey's trains and buses for the third year in a row. Transportation Commissioner James Simpson lauded the state's ability to hold fares down, saying, "Thanks to a stable mixture of state, federal and other funding sources, as well as NJ Transit's commitment to operate more efficiently, we are able to put forth an operating budget that will continue to hold the line on fares for the third consecutive fiscal year."