NJ Transit To Increase Fare By 9 Percent
NJ Transit has announced a proposal to increase fare hike by 9 percent. If the proposal gets approval in July, all adjustments will be effective by October 2015.
NJ Transit Proposal
Once approved, commuters will be paying an additional 25 to 75 cents from the current fare. For a trip between Metropark and New York, for example, the one-way fare will increase from $10 to $10.75. A monthly pass for the route will increased by $26.
Aside from the fare hike, the proposal includes service cuts and discontinuing a few bus routes.
The 655 Princeton-Plainsboro and two seasonal routes, the 307 Freehold-Great Adventure and 318 Philadelphia-Great Adventure, will be discontinued among others. There will no longer be stops and late night service for 872 Morristown-Livingston Mall, the 419 Camden-Pennsauken and the 463 Woodbury-Avandale Park-Ride.
“Costs such as contract services – Access Link, the organization’s paratransit service, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and private carriers – and healthcare and benefits, general liability insurance, workers’ compensation and pensions have steadily risen. As a result, NJ TRANSIT has been left with a significant budget gap,” NJ Transit said in a statement.
“Although NJ TRANSIT has identified more than $40 million in reductions in overtime, fuel savings, energy and vehicle parts efficiencies, the agency still faces an approximate $60 million budget gap for the 2016 fiscal year. To close the gap, fare and service adjustments are being proposed,” the statement reads.
Blame Game Ensues
David Peter Alan, president of the Lackawanna Commuter Coalition, is blaming Republicans and Democrats for NJ Transit’s budget gap.
Assemblyman John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex, blamed Gov. Chris Christie’s administration as the root cause of the problem, NJ.com reported. He said the administration relied on borrowing money to fund the TFF. State Senator Jennifer Beck, on the other hand, blamed Wisniewski as he was part of Governor Jon Corzine’s team that saw debts payments being pushed out to 40 years to fund the TFF.
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