Lextran's board of directors on Wednesday night approved a $24 million operating budget for fiscal 2016.
The budget marks a decrease in expenses of about 1.7 percent from the current budget.
Lextran general manager Carrie Butler said the budget, which also must be approved by the Urban County Council, is similar to last year's.
"We didn't make many real significant changes," she said.
The agency's $24 million in operating expenditures includes $7.9 million for wages, about the same as this year, and $4.7 million for fringe benefits, down from $5.1 million this year.
Managing health insurance costs has been an ongoing problem. The 2016 budget aims to decrease health insurance costs by $200,000, which would return costs to levels more like they were in 2014, Butler said during a work session with the board last week.
Butler said she has been in discussions with Lextran's insurance broker, asking the firm to "give us a wider range of plans and options."
She said the plans that have been offered to employees in previous years have been "low deductible, low cost to the employee."
Butler said she did not anticipate that changes in coverage would be well received.
But board member Chris Humphrey told the group that "the current plan that we have is unsustainable."
It also would be subject in 2018 to an excise tax that is part of the Affordable Care Act.
"We all have to adapt, whether we want to or not," Humphrey said, noting that the market was changing, and health benefits for many employees were not the same as they used to be.
Expenditures also include $5.3 million for "purchased transportation," the bulk of which goes toward providing Wheels service, and $1.4 million for professional services.
Fuel costs are projected at just less than $1.7 million, a decrease from last year's fuel budget of $2.1 million.
Butler said Lextran was assuming a diesel fuel cost of $2.75 a gallon. When Lextran bought fuel March 31, it cost $1.88 a gallon, according to materials provided to the board.
The budget also includes $269,270 in interest payments to Fifth Third Bank, which is tied to Lextran's plan to build a new headquarters.
The transit service anticipates receiving $16.5 million from property taxes, $4.6 million from state and federal funding, $2.1 million from passenger fares, $420,000 in subsidies from the University of Kentucky and $200,000 from advertising.
While Lextran is considering a fare increase that would take effect at the beginning of 2016, the budget does not include that in anticipated revenue.
At the end of fiscal 2016, Lextran anticipates having "local funds" of $12.8 million in reserve.
Butler said the agency draws down those funds throughout the year to pay for operations.