Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic), prime sponsor of a 2013 measure to rescind New Jersey Transit fare increases, issued the following statement on Thursday after raising concerns about proposed fare hikes during a Wednesday evening hearing:
“If enacted, the current proposal would be the fifth fare increase forced upon residents of Bergen County in as many years and the second in 2015 alone. Holding hearings is fine, but what commuters really wonder is whether New Jersey Transit actually is listening.
“Many Bergen County commuters who take the Main, Bergen County and Pascack Valley lines already experienced fare hikes earlier this year, when Metro-North fare increases automatically triggered price increases at certain NJ Transit stations. They voiced their opposition then, and they’re once again voicing it now. Instead of turning to passengers just months after slamming them with what effectively was a new tax, this agency has a responsibility to be more innovative in an effort to prioritize affordability and reduce costs.
“New Jersey residents who take public transportation to get to and from work typically do so because trains and buses are the most efficient way for them to travel. That NJ Transit is aware of how much fare increases will impact hardworking men and women – many of whom will not see corresponding salary increases in the next few months – and still even considers imposing greater strain on their already-tight budgets is simply disheartening.”