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(TRENTON) — Assembly Democratic lawmakers on the Assembly transportation committee released the following statements Wednesday after NJ Transit approved a 10 percent fare hike for bus and light rail riders and a 25 percent fare hike for train riders:

Assembly Transportation Chairman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex):
“Gov. Christie’s record-setting fare increase will tax working New Jerseyans, make our economy less competitive and our roads more congested. Gov. Christie promised New Jerseyans no tax increases, and this fare hike is no different from a tax increase on working families. Gov. Christie did not do enough to cut costs and patronage before moving quickly to force this fare hike on New Jersey commuters, many of whom have no choice but to take mass transit and will now be paying more for less.”

Assembly Transportation Vice Chairwoman Linda Stender (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset):
“Gov. Christie’s record-breaking fare increase takes money from the pockets of working families and hits doubly hard because it also comes with service cuts. This fare hike is yet another blow to working families who are already staggering under the burden of Gov. Christie’s proposed cuts to property tax relief and his plan for new and increased fees on senior citizens.”

Assemblyman Thomas Giblin (D-Essex/Passaic):
“This fare hike is clearly going to have widespread negative implications on working families, jobs and our economy. I’m concerned the administration moved too quickly to this fare increase without considering other options that didn’t overburden working New Jerseyans.”

Assemblyman Charles Mainor (D-Hudson):
“This fare increase is a major blow to working New Jerseyans who rely on NJ Transit trains and buses to get to work to earn a living. This equates to a major tax hike that will hurt families throughout our state, but it will especially hit lower-income families in urban areas who have no other way to get to work and will now be paying more.”

Assemblyman Matt Milam (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland:
“The reduced fare hike for bus riders was a move in the right direction, but Gov. Christie’s fare increase still puts the pain directly on riders. Many working class New Jerseyans rely on NJ Transit to get to work, and hiking fares on them during a recession is very unfortunate.”

Assemblyman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson):
“Gov. Christie’s record-setting fare hike is, quite simply and unfortunately, a major tax increase on New Jersey commuters. Many people who use buses and trains to get to work, buy groceries and visit loved ones have no other choice, yet they’ll now be paying significantly more for less service.”

Assemblywoman Caridad Rodriguez (D-Hudson):
“Many hard-working New Jerseyans already struggle to make ends meet, and Gov. Christie had made that even more difficult with this fare hike. When this record-breaking fare increase is combined with Gov. Christie’s plans to cut property tax relief, raise income taxes on the working poor and increase health care fees on senior citizens, tough times are clearly on the way for working families.”

Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-Bergen):
“It’s unfortunate that New Jersey commuters have been stung with this fare hike that is really no different from a tax increase on working class residents, especially with Gov. Christie’s budget bringing higher property taxes and new and increased fees for senior citizens. Even worse, this fare hike comes with less service, so working New Jerseyans will be paying more for less.”

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