No Fare Increase In New NJ Transit Budget [AUDIO]
There's some good news for Jersey commuters who get to work on a train or a bus.
The New Jersey Transit Board of Directors has approved a fiscal year 2013 Operating Budget and a 1.1 billion dollar Capital Program - with no fare increase for the next 12 months.
NJ Transit Executive Director Jim Weinstein says the Capital Program "will be focused on the purchase of equipment - rail, bus equipment - and it will also be focused on making sure that the tracks and the signal system that we operate - which is the non-Northeast Corridor - are in good shape…And it's also providing about 37 million dollars for investments in joint projects with Amtrak."
He says, "We've ordered a hundred more of the multi-level cars and delivery on those cars will begin later this year…The goal is ultimately to change out all of the regular rail cars, and get this kind of equipment in so people are riding in it every day on every line…You can fit between 20 and 25 percent more people in there, and that's particularly important for increasing our capacity through the Hudson River tunnels."
At the same time he points out, "We get about 200 new buses a year - we have, I believe, a 14 hundred bus order with the North American Bus Company…They continue to be delivered on a regular basis, and slowly but surely the older equipment is being phased out…For the first time in NJ Transit history we've got an average bus age of about 6 years - which is pretty remarkable actually…Buses last anywhere from 12 to 15 years and we've continued to invest in our bus fleet, and as a result of that, gotten the average age down - and that's made a real difference I believe to the passenger experience."
Weinstein adds rail station updates are also planned.
"We've got work that's actually going on at Newark, Penn Station," he says, "We've got work that's going to be going on at the Red Bank Station, the Elizabeth Station really needs work and it's in the cue for that, and work continues on New Brunswick and a number of other places as well."