For the third time in a year, TriMet will restore and improve transit service as part of its proposed budget for 2015.
The transit agency plans to spend over $7 million dollars to restore service, improve schedule reliability, reduce overcrowding and add 64 news buses. But, for the second year in a row, riders will not see a fare increase.
The agency’s budget premise is based on a continued improving economy, additional resources from the final payroll tax rate increase authorized in 2004, and the hope that the financial equivalent of TriMet’s contract proposal is accepted. TriMet’s contract proposal continues to reduce the growth of active and retiree medical costs and other compensation costs that are above peer agencies and the marketplace.
With TriMet’s contract proposal accepted, the $607 million operating and capital budget allows for service improvements rather than service cuts.
"This budget continues our effort to achieve long-term fiscal stability, while restoring and improving service for our riders," said TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane. "I am committed to staying on course to reduce our benefit costs so we can focus on our core mission of providing more service to our growing region. This will keep our commitments to our employees, retirees, riders and payroll taxpayers for the long term."
The budget is expected to be finalized this summer.