Bill Would Require Rate Counsel to Evaluate Fare Hikes
(TRENTON) – Legislation Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo sponsored to better protect NJ Transit riders from fare increases was advanced Monday by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
The bill (A-2587) comes amid a 9 percent fare hike by NJ Transit. That comes after a 22 percent hike in 2010.
“These fare increases have been brutal and unfair,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “Riders have made their voices heard, but sadly to no avail. Gov. Christie and NJ Transit continue to seek fare hikes without having to justify them. That must end. Riders need a stronger defender.”
The bill – advanced by the Assembly Appropriations Committee – expands the powers of the Division of Rate Counsel in the Department of the Treasury by requiring the division, within 90 days after receiving notice from the NJ Transit of any proposal to implement a fare increase to evaluate the proposed fare increase and determine whether the increase is necessary and fair to corporation customers.
NJ Transit is to provide any information that the division requests in the course of preparing the division’s evaluation and determination.
‘Before implementing any fare increase proposal, NJ Transit is to consider the division’s evaluation and determination and is to respond to any objection the division may have to the fare increase proposal,” DeAngelo said. “This will put a stop to the Christie administration’s plans to jam these fare hikes through with as little justification and public debate as they can. Riders will have a voice.”