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The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon's (TriMet) board on Wednesday approved a proposed fiscal-year 2015 budget that calls for more investment in rail infrastructure and improved service.For the second consecutive year, the agency's budget proposal would not raise fares, TriMet officials said in a press release.“This budget continues our effort to achieve long-term fiscal stability, while restoring and improving service for our riders,” said TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane.The spending measure now goes to the Multnomah County Tax Supervising and Conservation Commission, which will hold a hearing on the proposal on April 23.The document outlines total operating requirements of $493.5 million and capital requirements of $113.7 million. Light-rail programs would be budgeted at $113.7 million and funded by federal grants, state and local dollars, and TriMet bond proceeds.The budget would provide $53 million to maintain and improve the overall rail system, including incorporating "best practices," TriMet officials said.
In addition, the proposed spending measure calls for implementing the Oregon secretary of state's recent recommendations following an audit of the agency, which addressed more than two dozen shortcomings. TriMet management needs to work on safety and scheduling, labor management relations and unfunded liabilities, according to the secretary of state's press release on the audit, which was completed in January.
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