No NJ Transit fare hike for 5th straight year; WIFI coming to buses

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- Officials in New Jersey announced on Monday that for the fifth consecutive year, there would be no fare hikes for New Jersey Transit.

It was also announced that WIFI will be installed on all NJ Transit buses through Gov. Phil Murphy's 2023 budget.

Since taking office in 2018, the Murphy Administration has committed historic state support to advance the agency's strategic goals, capital projects, and recruiting efforts to boost performance, reliability and the customer experience - without balancing the budget on the backs of commuters.

"Without a single fare hike, NJ Transit has been drastically transformed and improved over the last five years," Murphy said. "On-time performance is up, cancellations are down, and engineer ranks have been replenished. Under our administration, NJ Transit has been on the fast track to success and will remain a high priority in years to come. New Jersey commuters deserve a transit agency that works for them, and that is exactly what we are giving them."

NJ Transit is making major improvements and hiring more engineers, investing in equipment and the agency has ordered 300 new buses and eight electric buses.

But the system is still waiting to see what ridership patterns will emerge as we come out of the pandemic. Just over 50% of the riders have returned, but a lot will depend on businesses requiring workes to return to the office.

In the last four years, NJ Transit has awarded more than $4 billion in capital projects which are now underway or will soon enter the procurement phase. Some of these projects include:

-NJ Transit's largest ever construction contract for a new Portal North Bridge for $1.6 billion
-$600 million construction contract for the Raritan River Bridge which broke ground in September 2020
-A commitment to invest $250 million for the Walter Rand Transportation Center Improvement Project and $190 million to renovate and modernize Newark Penn Station
-Advanced construction on the new Northern Bus Garage which will accommodate up to 500 buses to meet current and future demand, and will include the necessary charging infrastructure to support an all-electric bus fleet
-Major capital investments in Trenton Transit Center, Lyndhurst Station, Elizabeth Station, Perth Amboy Station and others

"Considering the vast advancements made by NJ Transit in the past four years, the fact that customers have not seen fare increases serves as evidence of the level of commitment and investment to mass transit by the Murphy Administration," said NJ DOT Commissioner & NJ Transit Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. "We are grateful to the administration for helping NJ Transit put its customers first while forging ahead with projects that will revitalize the system."

In January, 93% of trains were on time and the number was slightly higher for bus service. Riders appreciate the fact that fares are staying flat for the foreseeable future.

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