Bill Would Require Rate Counsel to Evaluate Fare Hikes
(TRENTON) – Legislation Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo sponsored to establish a buffer against New Jersey Transit fare increases was advanced Monday by an Assembly committee.
The bill (A-2532) follows a 9 percent fare hike by NJ Transit last year and 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 seek fare hikes without having to justify them. That must end. Riders need a stronger defender.”
The bill would expand 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 customers.
“Before implementing any fare increase proposal, NJ Transit would have to consider the division’s evaluation and determination and respond to any objection the division may have to the fare increase proposal,” said DeAngelo. “This will put a stop to any plans to jam fare hikes through with as little justification and public debate as they can. Riders will have a voice.”
The measure was advanced by the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee.