NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The NJ TRANSIT board has voted to stop giving free rides to non-union employees of the transit agency.
The vote came a week after the proposal was announced.
The move will affect about 1,800 non-union employees who currently enjoy the perk. About 9,000 unionized workers will still be entitled to free NJ TRANSIT bus and train rides.
An additional 700 NJ TRANSIT retirees will also lose the perk.
The revenue-boosting measure was part of Gov. Chris Christie’s economic reform plan and is expected to bring the state an additional $1.6 million annually, according to the agency.
Nearly two dozen NJ TRANSIT employees and retirees spoke at a board meeting before the vote, where they likened the proposal to a pay cut.
But James Simpson, the chairman of the NJ TRANSIT board, said revoking the perk means there will not be an across-the-board fare hike to help raise revenues.
The free bus and train passes have been offered to all employees “since the inception of our railroad service,” NJ TRANSIT spokesperson Nancy Snyder told WCBS 880 last week.
Snyder said the change is in keeping with moves made by other transit agencies.
“Similar reforms already have eliminated free travel at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey together with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority,” Snyder said last week.
The change takes effect in January.
Do you support the board’s decision, or do you think the employees are entitled to free bus and rail passes? Sound off in the comments section below…