Some unfortunate news out of New Jersey: NJ TRANSIT has issued proposals aimed at addressing a $60 million budget gap that call for, among other measures, fare hikes and service reductions.
Fare increases would affect both rail and bus routes. The proposed monthly rate for the Metropark to New York route would rise by $26, to $310; a one-way ticket would go up 75 cents. A one-way ride from Lakewood to New York would go up $1.50 to $19.00, and a monthly pass would go up by $37, to $448.
Overall increases would average roughly 9% across the board. Moreover, some individual trains would be eliminated, as would some bus routes.
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Secaucus) quickly released a statement rallying against the proposed hikes: “To say I’m disappointed by NJ Transit would be an understatement. I’m appalled at this terrible approach to transportation policy and astonished by the lack of regard for the working people of New Jersey who rely on NJ Transit to make ends meet. No one should be mistaken; this fare hike would be a tax increase on working people that would fail to do anything to solve New Jersey’s long-term transportation funding crisis. It would cause pain to working class residents without providing any benefit.”
A series of public hearings is scheduled to begin in mid-May. If approved, service cuts would begin Sept. 1 and fares would go up as of Oct. 1.