In prepared testimony submitted to the Assembly Budget Committee, New Jersey Transit Executive Director Richard Sarles said that the agency’s FY2010 budget does not include a fare increase for riders, despite a cutback in state operating support for the agency.
Sarles said the agency will balance its budget by cutting administrative expenses by $22.5 million to partly offset the shortfall, as well as benefit from federal funds made available from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The agency has reduced administrative cost to an all-time low with expenses now accounting for only eight cents out of every operating dollar, with a full 92 cents going to service delivery, said Sarles. He also noted that NJ Transit is more cost effective than its peer agencies on a cost-per-passenger-mile basis.
NJ Transit eliminated 140 jobs this year through attrition and early retirement, and has instituted both hiring and wage freezes for non-agreement employees. It also expects significant savings in FY10 from a dependent health benefit audit, reduced marketing expenses, and cut backs in printing and customer service call center hours made possible through technology that allows customers to get more information online.
The agency is also proposing a $1.3 billion capital program focused on safety and state of good repair investments, as well as expansion projects.