Commuting can be stressful and time consuming, but it seems no matter how you slice it it's always expensive.
Even buying a monthly discounted rail ticket, it costs $4,632 a year to trek back and forth from the to New York City. Hopping on the bus is only slightly cheaper, totalling $3,336 a year.
With that in mind, it may come as a relief to commuters that NJ Transit will not be upping their fares in 2013. 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, according to a press release from the company.
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.
The last fare increase came in 2010, and resulted in a 25% increase to interstate bus tickets and rail tickets, in addition to the removal of off peak tickets.