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6/22/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Board committee approves Pittsburgh port authority's FY2006 budget



Yesterday, the Port Authority of Allegheny County’s Administration and Finance Committee recommended the board adopt the authority’s fiscal-year 2006 operating and capital budgets.

The $148 million FY2006 capital budget includes funds to begin constructing the 1.5-mile North Shore Connector, which would extend the authority’s light-rail system under the Allegheny River to Pittsburgh’s north side.

The $319.8 million operating budget would maintain fares and service levels, freeze wages and salaries, and assume cost savings in health care and other expenses.

"The realization of cost savings … [are] essential for Port Authority to balance revenues and expenses, and to continue to provide comprehensive and affordable public transportation services," said Port Authority Chief Executive Officer Paul Skoutelas in a prepared statement. "These cost savings are our top priority as we negotiate new collective bargaining agreements and proceed into the next fiscal year."

Authority officials anticipate the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission will approve $45 million in supplemental "flex" dollars, which were proposed by Gov. Edward Rendell earlier this year to provide state transit agencies additional funding until the legislature establishes a dedicated transit funding source.


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