NJ Transit fare hike hearing draws angry response from commuters

Submitted by ragnarok on Fri, 03/26/2010 - 01:00

FROM: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/03/nj_transit_public_hearing_fare…

This hike is incredibly stupid, especially since they're NOT raising the gas tax whatsoever!

A quote from the article... visit the page to see the entire article:

NEWARK -- A capacity crowd of commuters and mass transit advocates gave New Jersey Transit officials an earful tonight during a public hearing in Newark over a record 25-percent fare hike proposed to go into effect on May 1.

“This fare is unfair!” David Peter Alan, a sight-impaired rail commuter from South Orange who chairs the Lackawanna Coalition rail advocacy group, shouted in a sermon-like address interrupted with cheers from the audience of 140.

In addition to paying 25 percent more in fares, customers would also have fewer trains and buses from which to choose, with 32 trains and 33 buses being dropped. At least two trains were deleted from each of NJ Transit’s 11 train lines.

Bus riders are expected to experience reduced service frequency on about 50 routes, with waits expected to increase by 5 to 20 minutes.

Under the proposal, the cost of a bus trip from Paterson to New York would increase from $5.25 to $6.50 and a train trip from Montclair State University to New York would jump from $5.75 to $7.25.

Several speakers noted the proposed fare increase is a tax increase on the elderly, disabled and poor, and wondered why the state’s gas tax wasn’t increased instead.

But Gov. Chris Christie told The Star Ledger’s editorial board last week that drivers have already paid more for tolls over the last four years, while NJ Transit riders haven’t had an increase in three years, when there was a 9-percent hike in 2007.

“Drivers have paid increased tolls two years in the last four years and I didn’t think it was their turn to feel the pain, when mass transit riders have not had an increase in three years,” Christie said.

EXACTLY!! Raise the GAS tax before cutting subsidy to NJT!! IDIOT!

He said commuters still pay less than 50 percent of what it costs to run New Jersey Transit.
Alma Scott-Buczak, NJ Transit’s assistant executive director/human resources, who moderated the Newark public hearing, told audience members that all of their comments will be taken into consideration.

SO? Perhaps cut some SPENDING? As much as this one wants to see the Lackawanna cutoff restored, how much will a line that gets minimal ridership cost? As much as I'd like to see continued service to Hackettstown, WHY justify this cost with a couple of hundred people? There are other ways to cut costs! They either refuse or are negligent to them!

“This is only a proposal,” she said.

Yeah right... They've already gone ahead with the preparations! This plan is in the works, and all these "hearings" are nothing more than posturing! We're screwed!

Christie: this is a government subsidized necessity! REMOVE these top-dollar-paid morons at the top of NJT who can't make financial decisions and make our tax dollars paid for this service work for us!

The hell!?