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McKeon & Jasey on NJ Transit’s Approval of Fair Increases and Service Cuts

Decision is a Double Whammy to the Commuting Public of the 27th District

(WEST ORANGE) — Assemblyman John F. McKeon and Assemblywoman Mila M. Jasey (both D-Essex/Morris) issued the following statements Wednesday, following New Jersey Transit’s decision to implement a 9 percent system-wide fare hike and service reductions across bus and rail routes.

Assemblyman John F. McKeon (D-Essex/Morris), Assembly Judiciary Committee Chair:
“With today’s decision, the board of NJ Transit is demanding that New Jersey commuters literally pay more for less service.

“In the past five-years, NJ Transit has increased their fares by a whopping 30 percent, and yet, almost daily, riders experience problems — sometimes significant problems — with their daily commute.

“Forcing commuters in my district and across the state to pay 30 percent more to get to and from work, while also navigating reduced train service and disappearing bus routes is beyond bad business. It is inexcusable.

“New Jersey is a commuter state. Residents rely on rail and bus service to live their lives. This latest tone-deaf decision by the NJ Transit board will most assuredly mean longer hours at work and a more difficult time getting home for working class families in Essex, Morris and across the rest of the state.”

Assemblywoman Mila M. Jasey (D-Essex/Morris), Assembly Higher Education Committee Chair:
“NJ Transit cannot continue to use the New Jersey commuting public as their own personal piggy bank. By relying solely on the commuting public to cover their debts, NJ Transit has all but ensured that our state’s economic recovery will continue to lag behind that of our neighbors.

“Working families in our communities cannot absorb a nearly 10 percent fare hike on top of the 22 percent hike they were forced to endure five years ago. Nowhere in New Jersey, or in neighboring states, have salary increases kept pace with this fare hike. Show me the teacher, or the cashier, or the waiter or waitress who saw their salaries jump 9 percent this year. You can’t, because it hasn’t happened.

“For residents making minimum wage, we are talking at least two extra hours at work a month — just to pay for the privilege of getting to and from work on a transit system that is cutting services.

“This is not sustainable. If NJ Transit continues to ignore that fact, it won’t be long before the only place riders will be able to afford to go is the poor house.”