New Jersey Transit service cuts take effect

May 24, 2010 9:19:59 AM PDT
After years of expansion, New Jersey Transit is going through the pain of service cutbacks. Thousands of riders will be standing in the aisles now that dozens of trains have been pulled off the rails to save money.

And Monday is cutback day - the first workday with the eliminated trains. New Jersey Transit says the cuts will force some commuters to find a new way to work - a different train or a different way of getting around.

By one estimate, 3.5 to 5 percent of customers will quit riding mass transit. And that's on top of the 2.5 percent who called it quits after the May 1 fare hikes.

The elimination of some trains comes just three weeks after New Jersey Transit raised train fares by 25 percent and bus fares by 10 percent.

Transit officials say the canceled trains had low ridership. But officials admit that many of their remaining trains will now be overcrowded and the waiting time at stations will be longer.

Every line is losing at least two trains, and the service cuts could lead to layoffs because the largest rail union has refused to give up or delay its next 3 percent salary hike.

Officials say the drop-off rate the first week of the fare hike was about 23,000 to 24,000 passenger trips for bus, train and light rail on an average weekday.

CLICK HERE for more information on the new train schedule.