Assembly Deputy Speaker John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), chair of the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee, issued the following statement Wednesday after New Jersey Transit board members voted to increase fares by an average of 9 percent and reduce service:
“After nine public hearings – clearly a charade – NJ Transit has taken action that will burden many families who are already struggling to make ends meet, blatantly ignoring the will of people across New Jersey who for months have raised their voices in opposition to fare increases.
“These fare hikes are the result of the governor’s decision to force NJ Transit to repay in full a $240 million loan to the Transportation Trust Fund from this year’s budget while, once again, doing nothing to resolve the fund’s financial crisis. They are a direct consequence of years of poor public transportation planning by the Christie administration and a lack of leadership by the governor.
“This situation easily could have been avoided with just a bit of foresight from the governor. We are reminded today, once again, that the fundamental needs of working people in New Jersey simply are not a priority for this administration.”