WOODBRIDGE, N.J. (CBS 2) – Commuters in have been hit with fare hikes of up to 25 percent on buses and trains. Now, NJ Transit wants to raise parking fees at many of its lots. That’s got some Garden State residents saying enough is enough.
Commuters have had to deal with fare hikes on trains and even service cuts, and now the agency plans on raising fees at three-dozen of its parking lots by as much as a dollar a day, reports CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.
Tricia Dolgin uses the daily parking lot at the Fanwood train station.
“A dollar a day is a significant amount when you’re paying $5 now, so that’s a big chunk of change for people, especially in this economy,” the Scotch Plains resident said.
For a commuter who parks daily, a dollar increase could mean an extra 20 bucks a month, which could add up to an additional $240 a year.
NJ Transit’s chairman said the hike is necessary to pay for the maintenance of lots, including repaving, lighting and snow removal, which he said is getting more expensive.
At least one commuter Sloan talked said he understood the logic.
“They need to cover their costs, you know? Everything is going up these days and I think it’s still reasonable to park,” said Tom Moore of Scotch Plains.
Many of NJ Transit’s 140 parking lots haven’t seen a fee increase in five years. While the agency hasn’t said what lots would be affected, Sloan has learned the Woodbridge station on Main Street could be one of them.
“I think it’s pretty expensive already. I think people generally walk when they’re close by, so some people are stuck paying for it,” said Karen Brodsky of Fanwood.
A spokesperson for the Gov. Chris Christie had no comment Wednesday, referring Sloan to NJ Transit.
The parking fee hikes are scheduled to go into effect Feb. 1 and the agency plans on releasing the list of lots by the end of the year.
NJ Transit officials said the minute the list of lots is finalized, customers will be notified so they can start planning.