Adopted Fiscal Year 2022 Budget
TriMet’s fiscal year 2022 adopted budget focuses on recovering from the global COVID-19 pandemic while continuing to keep riders and employees safe. The agency’s proposed day-to-day operating budget for FY 2022 is $607.1 million. In addition, we plan to dedicate another $301.2 million for capital improvements, some of which will upgrade and replace MAX track equipment and others to improve our transit service in the future.
Priorities for the coming year include gradually restoring fixed-route service as riders return, continuing to supply riders and staff with masks and hand sanitizer, maintaining high-level cleaning and sanitizing of buses and trains, and sustaining our fare equity efforts through the Low-Income Fare Program, fare assistance for high school students and other programs.
The proposed budget does not call for an increase in adult fare for the ninth year in a row.
Overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve kept buses and trains moving, providing critical options to the essential workers and to those needing essential services to survive. We will be ready for increasing ridership as the region recovers and everyday life returns. Our FY2022 budget provides nearly $58 million more than we estimate spending in our current year budget and sets TriMet, the region and our riders up for a return to pre-pandemic outlooks.
Despite a drop in fare revenue and payroll tax revenue, TriMet has been able to avoid layoffs due to the pandemic in large part to budget-cutting efforts and federal stimulus funds. TriMet received just under $185 million in CARES Act funding. We expect to receive approximately $195 million in CRRSAA funding. The funding has, and will be, used to respond to and recover from the pandemic.
TriMet plans to restore more service in the coming year. Currently, our service is about 90% of what it was before COVID-19
Building for the future
We continue to work on projects that will improve transit and move people when and where they need to go. Among the projects funded in the proposed budget:
Division Transit Project
The Division Transit Project, which brought more than $87 million in federal funds to the region, will create a new type of high capacity bus service to move people faster and more efficiently between Gresham and Downtown Portland. The project is expected to create more than 1,400 jobs, including 650 construction jobs and more than 780 indirect and induced jobs. It also is projected to bring more than $137.7 million in economic value to the corridor. Service is on track to begin in fall 2022
The Better Red project is expected to kick off in the last half of 2021. We hope to receive $100 million from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for the project, which is expected to create up to 1,200 jobs for the region and improve reliability throughout the MAX system.
MAX improvements projects
Several projects over the coming year will improve the reliability of the MAX. The work will include replacing sections of track and switch machines.
Speeding up transit
TriMet also will continue work with our partners on smaller roadway changes that speed up our buses.
Next generation of MAX trains
The proposed budget includes funds for the continued design work and manufacturing on our next generation of light rail vehicles, which could begin to roll out as early as 2022. Funding is also included to continue the major overhaul of our older light rail vehicles.
Moving ahead on greener operations
TriMet has committed to fully transition to a clean energy, zero emissions bus fleet by 2040. This budget will dedicate funding for the purchase and implementation of electrification charging infrastructure at bus facilities.
Reimagining public safety
After cutting six Transit Police positions and reallocating $1.8 million rom police contracts and other sources in July 2020, TriMet conducted an extensive community engagement effort on public safety. In the coming year, we will move forward on 25 actions steps, across five focus areas, including the development of a new Crisis Team pilot, with members trained to address mental and behavioral health and other quality of life issues.
Continue providing affordable fares
TriMet will continue to provide reduced fares to those riders who need them will continue. Our Low-Income Fare Program has provided some 33,400 Oregonians with TriMet’s Honored Citizen reduced fare. Riders on a low income have saved nearly $8.7 million since the program launched.
Access Transit programs, which provide nonprofits an opportunity to purchase fares at a discount for riders who are disadvantaged and provide free fare grants to community-based organizations, will continue with up to $1.5 million in fares distributed throughout the community.