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Rail News: Passenger Rail
PANYNJ seeks public comments on next year’s operating, capital budgets
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) has released its proposed 2019 $3.3 billion operating and $3.7 billion capital budgets for public review and comment. Written comments will be accepted through Dec. 10.
The proposed operating budget includes a 2.2 percent increase in core expenses over the 2018 budget, as well as a 0.7 percent increase in targeted incremental spending related to safety and security initiatives, and Hurricane Sandy-related repairs, according to a PANYNJ press release.
The budget includes:
• $773 million for safety and security initiatives;
• $53 million for "operational excellence" efforts, including initiatives to improve Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) operations and funding for strategic planning to address intermodal growth at port facilities; and
• $52 million for customer service initiatives, including countdown clocks at all PATH stations and cell service at underground PATH stations.
PANYNJ's proposed $3.7 billion capital budget represents a $300 million increase over the 2018 budget. It carries forward multiple projects to rebuild and replace legacy facilities, maintain assets in a state of good repair and improve the transit system’s resiliency against major storms, authority officials said.
The proposed 2019 capital plan in the budget includes:
• $112 million for PATH's signal system replacement program, and continuation of PATH station and equipment modernization;
• $89 million for construction and design activities at seaport facilities, including work on the ExpressRail Port Jersey, the Cross Harbor Freight Program environmental review and continued pavement work at the Howland Hook Marine terminal; and
• $17 million to continue planning activities for the Gateway passenger-rail tunnel project.
"The proposed 2019 capital budget invests billions to build new best-in-class transportation infrastructure for the future, recognizing that our existing facilities don’t come close to meeting global standards,” said PANYNJ Executive Director Rick Cotton. “We’ve also dedicated significant resources to provide an even greater level of safety and security, including enhanced cybersecurity initiatives, and increases in security staffing and technology.”
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.