Assembly Transportation Committee Chairman John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) released the following statement Monday on the newest round of proposed fare hikes announced by New Jersey Transit:
“Working class families struggling with stagnant wages have barely recovered from the last, record fare hike. Now New Jersey Transit is telling them it’s going to cost even more to get to work every day.
“These latest proposed hikes are emblematic of a larger problem plaguing this administration – a complete lack of foresight when it comes to public transportation planning. The administration’s borrow-and-tax approach is hurting those who can least afford it.
“Support from the General Fund for New Jersey Transit’s operting budget has gone down signficantly over the past five years while the size of the agency’s budget has steadily increased in that time. This is both unsustainable and irresponsible.
“Compounding the problem is the governor’s failure to put forth a plan for the nearly depleted Transportation Trust Fund. Instead, he has decided to make New Jersey Transit repay a $240 million loan to the state to help plug the hole in the trust fund for another year, only adding to New Jersey Transit’s fiscal woes.
“The governor’s inaction has all but assured that commuters will pay the price. It’s time for him to acknowledge the transportation crisis that exists and deal with it head on,” said Wisniewski.