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New Jersey Transit's board yesterday approved a $1.9 billion operating budget and $1.2 billion capital program for fiscal-year 2014, which started July 1.The operating budget calls for no fare increase for the fourth consecutive year, while the capital program supports continued investments in infrastructure and equipment to maintain the system in a state of good repair, NJ Transit officials said in a press release."We made a commitment to continue to hold the line on customer fares, and we are delivering on that commitment by implementing sustainable and fiscally responsible operating and capital programs," said Executive Director James Weinstein.Nearly half of the operating budget's revenue will come from fares ($920.6 million), with the balance from a combination of commercial revenue ($113 million) and state operating assistance ($73.2 million), as well as other state and federal reimbursements ($834.2 million), NJ Transit officials said.The capital program funds continued state-of-good-repair spending for stations and infrastructure, supports an ongoing fleet modernization program and advances service reliability, safety and technology initiatives, they said.The capital program increased by more than $70 million compared with FY2013, representing increases in the federal formula program included in MAP-21.Capital program highlights include rolling stock renewal, infrastructure replacement and Northeast Corridor (NEC) improvements. The NEC is allocated $60 million in FY2014 as part of NJ Transit's five year, $600 million NEC investment strategy.About 58 percent of the operating budget will go toward labor and fringe benefit costs, and about 28 percent will be allocated for contracted transportation services, fuel and power and materials. The budget reflects 3 percent growth in passenger revenue.
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