The St. Louis Metro board of commissioners approved an operating budget of $243.1 million for Fiscal Year 2012, which allocates resources to run the transit system for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2011.
Higher gas prices will be one significant impact on the cost of operations. The agency purchases approximately six million gallons of fuel annually, and the overall increase in fuel cost is expected to be $6 million for the year. Higher operating expenses also include an 8 percent increase in parts and supplies due, primarily, to the volatility of metal prices.
Metro fares will remain the same in FY 2012 in an effort to continue to encourage ridership growth that was curtailed following the 2009 service cuts. The agency projects that stable prices will generate an increase in passenger revenue due to ridership growth.
Metro President and CEO John Nations said the agency continues to operate under tight spending and budget restrictions and it will continue to improve the efficiency of operations.
The board also approved Metro's budget for capital projects that include the replacement, rehabilitation and modernization of infrastructure, vehicles, equipment and systems. A major project included in the budget is the construction of a new Scott Avenue Transit Plaza at the Grand MetroLink Station.
The FY 2012 budget also allocates resources to begin planning for future transit projects such as bus rapid transit and other initiatives identified in Metro's long range plan for transit in the St. Louis region. Completion of expansion projects will also require funds from federal sources.