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PANYNJ budget levels remain below pre-pandemic projections

PATH fares will remain unchanged in 2022 under the PANYNJ budget.
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The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's (PANYNJ) board last week approved a $7.9 billion budget for 2022.

The budget consists of $3.4 billion for operating expenses, $2.7 billion for annual capital spending and $1.8 billion for debt service and deferred expenses.

The budget reflects the pandemic’s ongoing impact on the the authority’s financial condition, PANYNJ officials said in a press release.

Budget investments are based on a “substantial” increase in projected revenue in 2022, reflecting the agency’s continuing recovery from the pandemic. However, all budget levels remain below pre-pandemic projections, officials said.

Toll rates for autos and trucks, as well as Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) fares, will remain unchanged in 2022. Based on an automatic inflation increase, a 25-cent AirTrain fare increase will take effect in March 2022.

The 2022 operating expense budget, totaling $3.4 billion, reflects a core increase of $211 million, or 6.6% versus the 2021 austerity operating expense budget. The 2021 austerity operating expense budget reduced the authority's headcount by 626 positions, or 7%, and carried forward about $190 million of cost reductions implemented in 2020, in addition to making further cost reductions needed to offset unavoidable contractual and structural increases elsewhere.

The 2022 operating budget holds headcount flat to the reduced 2021 levels and provides for inflation-based growth for labor and contracts, non-discretionary contractual increases and targeted incremental spending.

The 2022 capital spending budget of $2.7 billion — which will advance the authority’s commitment to rebuilding the region’s aging infrastructure — reflects an increase of $316 million, or 13%, versus the 2021 austerity capital spending budget.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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