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NJ Transit board adopts $2.6 billion fiscal 2022 budget

The NJ Transit board approved the agency’s more than $2.6 billion operating budget.

The fiscal 2022 budget is about $12.5 million, or 0.5%, higher than the budget approved a year ago. It calls for an additional 136 positions, a roughly 1% increase in NJ Transit’s headcount, but officials said the budget does not increase fares or cut service.

The budget anticipates about $590.7 million in farebox revenues and $955.4 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds, representing about 36% of the operating revenues. The projected federal revenues are about $23.6 million lower than the actual fiscal 2021 federal COVID revenues of $979 million.

NJ Transit has already drawn down $83.8 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, $118.1 million from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act and $355.8 million from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act in fiscal 2022, a spokesperson for the agency said.

About 60% of the agency’s operating expenses go toward labor costs. Overall, NJ Transit’s proposed fiscal 2022 operating expenses are about $186.5 million higher than the actual fiscal 2021 numbers.

Compared to the fiscal 2021 budget, state assistance is about $120.1 million lower.

In his State of the State last month, Gov. Phil Murphy said NJ Transit was previously “a national model of how not to run a mass-transit system.”

“Today, it stands as a model of how to turn around a mass-transit system,” Murphy added.

The board typically adopts the budget in June but deferred action until this month.

This article was originally posted on NJ Transit board adopts $2.6 billion fiscal 2022 budget

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