NJ Transit Board Approves 9 Percent Fare Hike | NBC 10 Philadelphia

NJ Transit Board Approves 9 Percent Fare Hike

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    The new rates, which were approved Wednesday, would go into effect in October. Checkey Beckford reports. (Published Wednesday, July 15, 2015)

    New Jersey Transit's board of directors voted unanimously to approve fare increases that average about 9 percent for bus and rail riders.

    The new rates, which were approved Wednesday, would 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.

    Board chairman Jamie Fox told The Associated Press last month that raising fares was a difficult decision to make but was preferable to widespread service cuts.

    The measure includes some service cuts -- to late-night train departures on two lines leaving Hoboken, and on several bus routes in southern New Jersey including service from Freehold and Philadelphia to Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park in Jackson.

    Commuters have assailed the increases in online postings and at public forums held by NJ Transit at several locations around the state in May.

    The hikes are the first since 2010 when fares increased an average of 22 percent. NJ Transit Executive Director Ronnie Hakim had said earlier this year that the agency would take pains to ensure any increases didn't reach those levels.

    One-way fares between Trenton and New York, the two endpoints of the Northeast Corridor Line, would rise by $1.25 to $16.75, an 8 percent increase. A monthly ticket would increase 9 percent, from $440 to $480.

    A one-way ride from Lakewood to New York would go up $1.50 to $19, for example, and a monthly pass would increase by $37, to $448, a 9 percent hike.