TOWN OF OCEAN CITY
FISCAL YEAR 2024 PROPOSED BUDGET
In February 2011, bus fare was increased from $2 ride-all-day to $3 ride-all-day, or $1 per boarding. In FY 15, the $1 per boarding option was eliminated. For FY 24, bus fare will be increased to $4 ride-all-day, yielding an estimated $214,143 over the FY 23 adopted budget. Ridership is expected to continue to return to the pre-COVID levels. Projected revenue from bus advertising is $186,000, an increase of $36,000. Tram fare was increased to $4.00 each way seven days a week in FY 20, and is being increased to $5 each way in FY 24. Projected tram revenue is $1,379,885 in FY 24. Tram advertising has been estimated at $40,000, an increase of $25,000. A County grant of $80,000 for providing service to the West Ocean City Park and Ride has been included. Federal and State operating grants totaling $709,557 have been estimated. No post-COVID grant revenue, such as American Rescue Plan funds (ARPA) have been included, as it is anticipated that all grant funds from this source will have been expended by the end of fiscal 23. Capital maintenance grants have been included for the purchase of two articulating buses and preventive maintenance on the buses. Prior year non farebox revenue will be used to cover the local match on the two articulating buses in FY 24. A General Fund contribution of $895,491 has been included towards operations, and a General Fund contribution of $67,500 has been included as a local capital match for preventive maintenance.
Nineteen full-time employees have been funded in FY 24, as six bus driver positions were converted from part-time to full-time in FY 23. A step increase effective January 1, 2024 has been included for all full-time employees. Two seasonal supervisors continue to manage the money room operation. The total number of staff assigned to the money room was reduced from 7.5 employees to 6.5 employees in FY 20, and has been further reduced to 5 in the FY 24 budget. One of these employees is charged to the Parking cost center, while the remaining employees are charged to Transportation. Over 100 seasonal employees are employed by this department. Part-time salaries in the bus division are funded at $1,105,098, a reduction of $216,927 from the FY 23 adopted budget. Wages reflect increases for bus drivers from $17.75/hour to $18.45/hour in 2023 and a seasonal wage of $21.00/hour. Total Tram part-time salaries decrease, but reflect increases for tram drivers from $15.65/hour to $16.23/hour in 2023. Tram conductor positions were reclassified and increase from $15.00/hour in 2023 to $15.76/hour in FY 24. Other staff in the tram division, such as ticket sellers remain at $15.00/hour. The allowance for Police officers to patrol the buses is funded at $31,500. Budgeted hours for the operation of the medical transport program continue to be included. In Employee benefits, group insurance and unemployment decrease, while retirement increases. Unemployment accounts for $295,000 of the Employee Benefits line item for FY 24. Recruitment and retention incentives have been funded at $63,750.
Contracted Services include building and equipment maintenance, printing, dues, and credit card fees. The annual fees for the bus locator system are included at $47,000. Seasonal marketing for the bus division has been included at $3,000. Credit card fees were budgeted at $30,000 for the Tram division, a decrease of $9,100. Operational Supplies are funded at $57,861. Supply items include oil and diesel exhaust fluid, and general supplies for daily bus operations. A replacement money room coin sorter was funded at $16,000 in FY 23. Energy costs decrease $4,000 for FY 24. Vehicle fuel is a major expense for this department and is budgeted at $530,584. Parts and labor for the bus division have been budgeted at $1,050,000, an increase of $30,000. All bus division parts and labor expenses will be submitted under the FTA/MTA preventive maintenance grant in FY 24. Intragovernmental allocations for radio equipment lease, and vehicle lease decrease for this division, while the allocations for General Overhead expense and insurance increase. Vehicle lease in the bus division only covers the amount for vehicle insurance costs. Vehicle Lease in the Administrative and Tram divisions includes an amount for vehicle lease and for vehicle insurance. Capital Outlay includes the purchase of two articulating buses, funded with 80% Federal grant funds, and a 20% local match.