New Jersey Transit announced fare hikes of an average of 9 percent on bus- and rail-riders this week, which it said was needed to close a $60 million budget gap. It would be the first fare hike since 2010, which totaled an average of 22 percent. The Christie administration argues that budget constraints -- particularly as a result of the rise in pension and health benefits -- are causing the need for fare hikes. Democratic legislators complain that Gov. Chris Christie is, rather than finding easy solutions such as a gas or millionaire’s tax.