Wednesday, September 26, 2012

DART FY13 budget incorporates expansion

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Dallas Area Rapid Transit 's (DART) Board of Directors on Tuesday approved a $1.07 billion budget for fiscal year 2013, resisting both fiscal and political pressure by including continued support for expanding DART's Orange and Blue lines, and continued construction towards a direct rail connection to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in 2014.

DART's FY13 budget, which begins Oct. 1, is smaller than the FY12 budget of $1.15 billion, and includes funding for the projected extension of the Blue and Orange LRT lines this December.

"The lower overall budget includes a decrease in capital spending as the expansion of light rail slows; however, the operating budget is up as DART adds more service to more places," DART said in a statement.

"This budget allows us to continue meeting our commitments to our service area cities as we create an even more attractive system for new customers," DART Board Chair John Danish said.

DART identified $449.6 million for operations, roughly $469 million for capital and non-operating costs, and $151. 4 million for Net Debt Service.

The FY13 budget also supports the approved introduction of new fares beginning in December, the changeover to a new mobility management/paratransit service provider in October and the introduction of a new fleet of 123 smaller 17-seat buses. Additionally, it includes the introduction in December of a new fleet of 459 full-size compressed natural gas buses, DART said.