(TRENTON) – Assembly Transportation Chairman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) released the following statement Thursday after a hearing on Gov. Christie’s plans to increase NJ Transit fares and cut services:

“I thank Director Weinstein for attending today’s hearing and the public for letting us know their thoughts on Gov. Christie’s impending fare increases and service cuts. “One thing stands out from today’s testimony and it’s very troubling.

“It seems Gov. Christie is rushing toward a fare increase well before NJ Transit has completed a thorough review of operations and found creative and innovative ways to cut costs without slashing services and taxing commuters.

“The administration, for instance, was unable to identify what patronage jobs it will eliminate at NJ Transit. Overall, I was disappointed it could not provide the committee with more specifics.

“Gov. Christie’s approach is unfair to the hard-working New Jerseyans who have no choice but to rely on NJ Transit to get to work.

“A fare increase from Gov. Christie, after all, is no different from a tax increase. This is actually a double-hit, because commuters will pay more for less service.

“Gov. Christie clearly isn’t doing enough to find ways to avoid a fare increase and service cuts. Gov. Christie must do more before saddling working middle-class and lower-income residents with what amount to a huge tax hike.”

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