LANta’s Weekly Newsletter Vol 3, No 20, June 29, 2011
The Authority spent time during their June 14, 2011 Board of Director’s meeting reviewing the Annual budget recommended for approval by the Finance/Planning Committee who had been deliberating over the financial blueprint for fiscal 2012 for the past four months.
The key assumptions for the LANtaBus operating budget are: the implementation of the fare increase, with the expectation of no loss in ridership; the projection of special fares revenue resulting from various services; the projection of special fares revenue resulting from various services; the expense changes including wages, based on projected hours; the implementation of the new Moving LANTA Forward route structure; and specifics including increases in cost from areas such as the pension program, health care insurance, and the cost of fuel.
The plan designates 50% of the advertising revenue from FY 2011-2012 (a total of $275,000) as reserve for a local match required for capital improvement grants. This special fund designation represents a positive impact on the county budget grant requirements.
The LANtaBus budget sets forth revenues of $10.2 million and operating expenses of $2.7 million. Grants are projected to cover an additional $12.4 million in operating loss. The remaining amount required to cover expenses ($123,789) will be taken from the Authority’s fund balance.
For the LANtaVan service budget, key assumptions are total trips of 425,000; the continued increase in the MATP services in terms of riders, cost, and revenue; and the purchase of service cost that is in accordance with the current contract with Easton Coach Company.
The budget sets forth total revenue in the amount of $11.4 million; projected operating expenses of $11.8 million; and an estimated excess of expenses over revenue, a shortfall of about $473,000. The shortfall will be covered through fund balances from previous operating years.
The cost of diesel fuel remains a prime challenge for management and efforts continue to be made to control these costs through competitive bid initiatives sometimes on a month-to-month basis.
Staff opened proposals for the supply and installation of new bus stop signs on Friday, June 10, 2011 and two recommendations were set forth. The Board approved the following recommendations:
1. To ensure timely implementation of the project, the Authority awarded the sign production contract to Reliable Sign and Stripping of Bethlehem, PA as the primary contractor and Sharp Signs of Emmaus, PA as the secondary contractor.
2. Due to the nature of the project, staff felt it is important to have flexibility in the installation services. Accordingly, the Authority awarded contacts for bus stop signage installation to the three lowest price proposers: Fast Signs, Allentown, PA; Reliable Sign and Stripping, Bethlehem, PA; and Sharp Sign, Emmaus, PA. Staff would then use each contractor on an as needed basis.
This is one item that must be completed prior to LANta’s route changes, which has an implementation date of August 29, 2011. There are many other items that require completion and it was noted that they are all moving along nicely and in a timely fashion.
NOTE: No bus service or paratransit van service on Monday, July 4th, 2011. Happy birthday America!