Includes bus service improvements, upgrades to bus fleet and safety enhancements
The TriMet Board of Directors today unanimously adopted the Fiscal Year 2014 budget following more than two months of broad community outreach, and budget review and approval from Multnomah County’s Tax Supervising and Conservation Commission (TSCC). The $489 million operating budget, which will take effect July 1, 2013, touts budget priorities aimed at providing better service for our riders, upgrading the bus fleet, and safety and maintenance improvements.
• Accelerate new bus purchases, eliminating all older high floor buses and reducing the average age of the fleet to the industry standard of eight years by 2017; $8.8 million for three years.
• Increase bus service on 14 lines to address schedule reliability and rush hour overcrowding; $2.1 million annually.
• Continue the Access Transit Fare Programs (previously called the Low-Income Mitigation Program); $1.3 million annually.
• Hire eleven operators to comply with the Hours of Service policy for bus operators; $1 million a year.
• Increase the contribution to union unfunded defined benefit pension fund; $7 million in FY14.
• Increase light rail vehicle and track maintenance, plus improve lighting and station renewal along the MAX system; $9.5 million.
• Improvements to portable restroom locations for operators, construction of a new restroom facility, and acquire property for a new layover/ restroom location $1.2 million.
• No fare increase (a loss of $2 million in revenue) or service cuts planned.
“We are committed to reinvesting in our transit system; updating our aging fleet; and make targeted improvements for both our riders and employees, to ensure long-term reliability, safety and comfort,” said TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane.
The operating budget is contingent upon the arbitration award for the expired contract with the Amalgamated Transit Union being upheld and TriMet’s new contract offer is agreed upon. TriMet looks forward to upcoming negotiations and remains committed to having these bargaining sessions covered by the mainstream media so the public can be informed about the process.