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The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon's (TriMet) board on Wednesday approved a fiscal-year 2015 budget that will cover $493.5 million in total operating requirements and $113.7 million in capital requirements.The budget, which takes effect July 1, includes $307 million for light-rail programs. It also continues the board's efforts in recent years to achieve long-term fiscal stability while also expanding service, capital maintenance and replacement deferred during the recession, according to the budget document posted on TriMet's website.For the second consecutive year, fares will not increase under the budget, agency officials said in a press release. The budget increases maintenance for the MAX light-rail system to improve reliability, while also investing more in technology, safety and security.The budget is based on the agency's contract proposal being accepted by the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757, TriMet officials said. Earlier this month, the agency declared an impasse in the negotiations.Some of the state-of-good-repair improvements planned for the MAX system include rehabilitation of the Blue Line Station; replacement of platforms at the Sunset Transit Center; replacement of switches, turnouts and infill between tracks and ties in some locations; and improvements to the Steel Bridge projected to cost $500,000.The budget also covers safety certification and operator training for the 7.3-mile Portland-Milwaukie light-rail line, which is slated to open in September, and costs associated with positive train control implementation for the WES commuter-rail system.
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