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Rail News Home Passenger Rail

January 2008



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Transit agencies sign off on '08 spending plans



With the new year approaching last month, a handful of transit agencies approved 2008 budgets.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) adopted a $5.9 billion budget that includes $2.3 billion for operating expenses, $2.58 billion for capital expenses, $814 million for debt service and $173 million for other expenditures.

The authority also approved a $29.5 billion updated 10-year capital plan, which increased $3.4 billion since the plan was initially adopted in 2006. PANYNJ will spend an additional $1 billion on security initiatives and provide another $1 billion for New Jersey Transit’s Access to the Region’s Core project.

Meanwhile, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) board signed off on a budget that includes a toll and fare increase, and enables the agency to begin tackling $6 billion in projected deficits during the next four years while increasing service.

To take effect in March, the fare increases are expected to generate an additional 3.5 percent in revenue.

Subway cash fares will remain at $2, one-day passes will increase from $7 to $7.50; seven-day passes will go up from $24 to $25; and 30-day passes will rise from $76 to $81.

At MTA Long Island Rail Road and MTA Metro-North Railroad, most weekly and monthly tickets will increase between 3.76 percent and 4.25 percent. Ticket prices for one-way, round-trip and 10-trip intermediate travel will increase up to 7.7 percent.

Finally, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority adopted a $276.2 million budget that’s slightly higher than FY2007’s $268.3 million and includes “modest” service increases, the agency said.

The $64.5 million capital budget represents a 12 percent reduction compared with FY2007’s level.

FTA signs Northstar FFGA

It took years for Minnesota’s Northstar Corridor Development Authority (NCDA) to secure funding for its $317 million commuter-rail line, but the final piece fell into place last month.

The Federal Transit Administration signed a $156 million Full Funding Grant Agreement, which enabled the state of Minnesota to release another $97.5 million in bonds.

NCDA will use the funds to purchase 22 commuter-rail vehicles, two light-rail vehicles, fare-collection equipment and real estate, and build five stations and a vehicle maintenance facility.

Scheduled to open in 2010, the 40-mile Northstar Corridor will run along existing BNSF Railway Co. tracks between Big Lake, Minn., and the Twin Cities. The line is the first phase of a proposed 82-mile corridor, which would run from downtown Minneapolis to Rice, Minn. By 2025, more than 850,000 people are expected to live along the corridor, 200,000 more than reside in the area currently.

The project also includes a Hiawatha light-rail extension to a new intermodal station at 5th Avenue North in downtown Minneapolis, enabling passengers to transfer between light- and commuter-rail, and bus service.



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Browse articles on Port Authority of New York and New Jersey PANNYNJ Long Island Railroad Metro-North Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Federal Transit Administration Norstar Corridor Minneapolis rail

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