NJ Transit to hold 10 hearings, including one in Secaucus, on proposed 15% fare hike


NJ Transit will hold 10 hearings, including one in Secaucus, in March on their proposed 15 percent fare hike that would take effect on July 1st.

File photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The public hearing in Secaucus will take place on Friday, March 8th in the long hallway of the Frank R. Lautenberg Station from 10 a.m until 12 noon.

“Since 2015, NJ TRANSIT has held the line on fare increases while not only improving service performance, but adding additional service on more than 100 bus routes and absorbing the ongoing costs to operate service that replaced private carrier bus services abandoned by DeCamp, Coach USA and A&C, which represents more than $30 million alone,” the agency wrote on their website.

” … In July 2023, NJ TRANSIT’s very preliminary estimates for FY25 identified a budget deficit of $119 million. As the budget projections have continued to be refined since that time, and as the federal COVID-relief funding will be exhausted in FY25, cost drivers have increased substantially. In addition to an increase in inflation of over 30% since 2015, affecting things such as fuel costs and materials, other costs have also risen significantly.”

NJ Transit also said that this is the fifth year that ridership is below pre-COVID-19 levels, costing them nearly $2 billion in “farebox revenue,” where healthcare costs have also risen approximately 47 percent.

Furthermore, they indicated that even after cutting costs ($44 million) and finding new revenue streams ($52 million), their deficit sits at about $106.6 million and the fare hike, which also comes with an annual three percent fair increase in perpetuity, is needed to offset the costs.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, a Democratic candidate for governor, Hudson County Commissioner Bill O’Dea (D-2), a 2025 mayoral hopeful, and Ward E Councilman James Solomon, and then later Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, a congressional challenger in the 8th District, and Assemblyman John Allen (D-32) quickly came out against the hikes.

The other hearings will be held in Cherry Hill, Atlantic City, Paterson, Hackensack, Trenton, Belmar, Woodbridge, Union, and Newark – with the final session being held at their board room at One Penn Plaza East from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. on March 8th.

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