Frustrated riders protest outside NJ Transit headquarters ahead of fare hike

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, June 28, 2024
Riders protest outside NJ Transit headquarters ahead of fare hike
Anthony Carlo has updates on the NJ transit fare hike protest.

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- A "Stop the Fare Hikes" rally was held Friday morning in front of NJ Transit headquarters in Newark.

The rally was held ahead of a 9 a.m. NJ Transit Operations and Customer Service Committee meeting.

Protesters are calling for a stop to the 15% increase in bus and train tickets scheduled to take effect on Monday. It comes at a time when New Jerseyans say rent, food and child care is hard enough to afford.

Some frustrated commuters say it is criminal to ask riders to foot the bill after years of underinvestment.

"You're going to pay 15% more, with no promise of a change," said Make The Road New Jersey lead organizer Nedia Morsy.

Doreen, an NJ Transit rider, says her bus fare will go from $1.60 to $1.80.

"If you're going to pay more, you want to see improvements also. You want to see where your money is going to," Doreen said.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill called for NJ Transit to "pause and re-evaluate" the increase.

But Gov. Phil Murphy, who controls the agency's board of directors, said he would leave that decision to the board.

On Thursday, the governor held a meeting with leaders of Amtrak and NJ Transit.

The meeting came after a stretch of major disruptions along the Northeast Corridor. Commuters last week endured delays and cancellations due to power problems and disabled trains.

Officials from both Amtrak and NJ Transit said they are working together to accelerate the investigation into disruptions and improve reliability between New York and New Jersey. Amtrak has promised to increase inspections on tracks and wires on the Northeast Corridor to help stop problems before they happen.

NJ Transit says the money is needed to close a big budget gap to avoid reducing service, but protesters say the new controversial corporate transit fee on multi-million-dollar businesses, now being voted on, should be the source of funding when it's there.

"That money is just going to be just sitting in the general fund and we should be thinking about whether some of that can be used to help alleviate the pain that riders are going to feel, especially as the service riders are receiving is not great," said NJ Transit advocate Peter Chen said.

The last time there was a fare hike was in 2015 under the Christie administration.


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