NJ Transit, the public transportation system used by many in the Garden State, has proposed a 15% fare hike. The fare hike is set to be voted on in April and would take effect starting July 1st, 2024. The proposal includes annual 3% increments starting July 1st, 2025, with no specified sunset date. This is the first fare increase proposed by NJ Transit in 10 years. Public hearings will begin on Monday, March 4th. Read on for details about the proposed NJ Transit fare increase to take effect on July 1st, 2024.
What We Know
NJ Transit proposed a 15% raise in public transportation fares to take effect on July 1st, 2024, followed by annual 3% increments, per a press release. The fare increase aims to prevent an imminent $119 million budget shortfall in 2024, now reduced to $106 million through implemented revenue enhancements and cuts.
The proposed increase includes one-zone bus fares rising from $1.60 to $1.80 and trips from Jersey City to the Port Authority bus terminal increasing from $3.50 to $4.00. NJ Transit will host 10 public hearings from March 4th through March 8th, alongside online comments, with a board vote scheduled for April 10th, 2024. No virtual options are available at this time.
This is the first fare increase proposed by NJ Transit in 10 years, and the first in six years since Governor Murphy was elected. More information regarding the NJ Transit fare raise can be found here.
Local Leaders Respond
Local leaders responded to the proposal.
Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla issued the following statement: “We must encourage the use of mass transportation, not discourage it. That’s why I adamantly oppose the 15% NJ Transit rate hike. It will hit commuters—particularly working-class commuters— hard, and put more cars back on our roads, making traffic even worse. I strongly urge all involved to prioritize alternative funding sources for NJ Transit, which is a key to meeting our climate change goals and an engine of economic growth for all throughout New Jersey.”
Following Governor Murphy’s decision to raise NJ Transit fare rates, Councilmember James Solomon of Jersey City released the following statement:
“I am disappointed in Gov. Murphy and NJ Transit’s decision to hike NJ transit fares for our state. A 15% fare hike would make our already weak public transportation system even less accessible, forcing more people on the roads and contributing to polluted air and dirty water. We should be making critical investments in improving our trains, subways, and buses and making them cheaper to ride, not more expensive. With major corporations set to receive a $1B annual tax cut and with a wasteful $10B Turnpike widening plan moving forward — our state has the money to fund NJ Transit without asking working people to shoulder the burden.”
More information regarding the NJ Transit fare raise can be found in NJ Transit press release here.
All information for the public hearing dates can be found here.
The proposed rate hike occurs at the same time that local leaders and transit officials are weighing congestion pricing for commuters traveling to and from Manhattan through New Jersey. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has filed a lawsuit on behalf of New Jersey challenging the congestion pricing plan, arguing that the USDOT and the FHWA violated the National Environmental Protection Act, which requires a full environmental impact review for projects of this projected impact and scope, as well as the Clean Air Act.