To the Editor:
New Jersey Transit’s nine-percent fare increase is nothing more than a nine-percent tax increase on the back of middle-class and working families. It is absolutely unfair and it will really hurt many people at a time when family budgets are already extremely tight.
The fare increase is also coupled with service elimination for both bus and rail riders and would impede some commuters from getting to and from work. This is absolutely unacceptable, especially considering NJ Transit riders already pay the highest fares in the entire nation. Our commuters simply deserve better.
New Jersey has one of the best transit systems in the nation and we must be investing in transit—not eliminating it. There are many alternatives to raising fares and eliminating service to erase the $60 million budget gap NJ Transit is facing. Among the solutions is selling off excess and vacant land near NJ Transit locations, incentivizing transit oriented development and funding the Transportation Trust Fund.
Since 2002, there have been four fare increases and coupled with the previous hike in 2010, it would mean riders would see fares increase over 30 percent in the past five years. NJ Transit should not increase fares on people who frankly cannot afford it. We need to stand together and fight the hike.
NJ Transit will be voting on the fare hike and service cuts proposal at its July 15 Board of Directors Meeting. Time is running out, and I urge all transit-dependent riders to take action by calling the Governor’s Office at (609) 292-6000 and demand that he properly fund NJ Transit and that he takes immediate action to stop the fare hikes and service cuts.
Fight the Hike
Chairman / State Business Agent
Amalgamated Transit Union NJ State Council