NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The NJ TRANSIT board of directors has found a way to balance the agency’s budget, but commuters will be paying for it.
The board on Wednesday unanimously approved fare increases Wednesday that average about 9 percent for bus and rail riders and will go into effect in October.
Commuters in New Jersey take nearly 1 million trips on the state transit agency’s trains, buses and light rail cars each week. NJ TRANSIT officials have said the increases are needed to cover a $60 million budget gap that remained even after the agency cut $40 million internally.
As CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported, the decision to increase fares came amid staunch opposition. Public speakers begged the board to leave the fares alone.
“I want you to please think about that single mother, that single father that now has to dig in their pockets a little bit deeper,” said union member Earl Hardy.
Commuters said the fare hike is a hardship, and service is not always that great, CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported.
“Almost every single workday, there were several alerts about delays,” one woman said.