Below is a graph depicting how much state and county revenue the Port Authority is expected to received between now (FY2009) and FY2013 (year ending June 30, 2013.) Based on state funding formulas, the amount of available state and county money will actually decrease over the next five years. (You can find this slide and others in the Port Authority presentation “FY2009 Issues and Challenges.”)

These revenue sources make up about 61% of the Port Authority’s budget.  Which means that as the cost of diesel fuel and electricity and bus tires and paper clips rises over the next few years, the purchasing power of the Port Authority will continue to decrease. (Joe Grata explains the problem in Sunday’s PG.)

The Port Authority is trying to increase the effectiveness of its network through its Connect 09 system redesign to help minimize the impact of this flat revenue curve and to maintain an adequate level of service in the years ahead. But the solution also includes securing a competitive new labor contract.

The more that each Port Authority bus driver costs in wages and benefits — including retiree healthcare —  the fewer bus drivers the Port Authority will be able to afford.  And that will mean fewer hours of bus service

Posted by: Ken Zapinski