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NJ Transit says it won't raise fares in coming year

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NJ Transit will spend more than $1 billion on infrastructure repairs and upgrades this fiscal year, but riders won't see an increase in fares.

The transit agency's board of directors on Thursday approved a $1.9 billion operating budget and a $1.2 capital program for fiscal 2014. This will be the fourth straight year the agency won't raise ticket prices.

"We made a commitment to continue to hold the line on customer fares, and we are delivering on that commitment by implementing sustainable and fiscally responsible operating and capital programs," said James Weinstein, the agency's executive director.

The capital budget represents a $70 million increase over fiscal 2013. The agency's list of capital projects includes $60 million in upgrades along the Northeast Corridor line, part of a five-year, $600 million capital program for the Northeast Corridor. The capital budget also includes technology and accessibility upgrades, including new high-level platforms at the Perth Amboy and Lyndhurst stations.

NJ Transit's operating budget, meanwhile, is up 3 percent versus fiscal 2013. Passenger fares make up $920 million of the agency's revenue in the operating budget. The agency expects commercial revenues of $113 million, state assistance of $73.2 million, and other state and federal reimbursements totaling $834.2 million.

Reporter Jared Kaltwasser is @JaredKaltwasser on Twitter.

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