FREEHOLD – Senator Ellen Karcher today urged NJ Transit commuters to attend Statewide information sessions about a proposed rate hike to voice their opposition to any plans which place the burden of infrastructure upgrades on riders.
“New Jersey as a whole benefits from a well-maintained mass transit system,” said Senator Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer. “Mass transit serves as an invaluable safety valve for roadway congestion, and serves to promote greener modes of travel. Drastic rate hikes, which make our trains and buses an unaffordable option for our State’s commuters, should be avoided at all costs.”
Senator Karcher noted that a proposed NJ Transit fare change could increase bus and train fares by between 9 and 10 percent. When the hike was first proposed by NJ Transit officials, Senator Karcher was among the first to denounce it, saying that the State should seek every alternative to avoid a massive fare hike, and suggested possibly rolling out infrastructure improvements to lessen the impact on NJ Transit riders. Senator Karcher added that the fare hike is in preliminary stages, and with enough opposition to the plan, NJ Transit officials may seek alternative methods of funding infrastructure improvements.
“NJ Transit has an obligation to maintain a safe, secure mass transit infrastructure which meets the needs of its ridership,” said Senator Karcher. “However, I’m concerned that massive rate hikes will hurt working families even more, and we cannot strand the thousands of commuters which use our trains and buses every day to travel to and from work in New York City or Philadelphia. I will be testifying at the public hearing in my part of the State, and I encourage every rider who is opposed to this rate hike to attend, and to let their local lawmakers know of their opposition.”
For commuters who are interested in attending, a public hearing schedule from NJ Transit is attached.