RFTA board passes $48.7 million budget
November 11, 2012
CARBONDALE – Bus drivers, mechanics and other employees of the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority will be eligible for merit raises of as much as 3 percent next year, according to a budget by the agency passed Thursday.
RFTA workers also had the opportunity for 3-percent merit raises this year. The agency had a wage freeze in 2010 and 2011.
RFTA’s board of directors, meeting in Carbondale, approved a $48.70 million budget. Fares won’t be raised, but the agency expects fare revenues to increase by 2 percent. A modest increase in sales tax revenues also is expected.
Health care premiums will increase by 9 percent. RFTA will maintain current employee contribution amounts.
The bus agency’s expansion of service through its bus-rapid-transit project is expected to add $680,000 in operating costs when it starts in September. For a full year, starting in 2014, the extra operating expense is expected to be $2 million.
Spending on diesel fuel is expected to decrease 9 percent, or $220,000 less than the forecast for 2012 because RFTA is locking into a lower price. However, overall fuel costs will increase because of the expanded service. RFTA is adding 22 buses that will operate on compressed natural gas.
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The agency also intends to outsource its legal services rather than have a staff attorney. Walter Mathews was fired as general counsel in October by RFTA’s board of directors for unspecified reasons.