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Poll: NJ Transit Fare Hikes -- On Track or Off the Rails?

Is this another undeclared tax on the middle class, or a smart step to maintain responsible fiscal policy?

NJ Transit approved an average fare hike of 9 percent this week, over the objections of many commuters and transit advocates. It was the first fare hike since 2010, when fares jumped an average of 22 percent. Some experts claim that the state is playing games with funding sources and not addressing the big issues, while Gov. Chris Christie says the fare hikes are necessary because of his tight fiscal policy.

What do you think?

  • Gov. Chris Christie is doing what he can to keep the budget stable. Yes, he’s moving money around, but it’s necessary if we don’t want to see tax hikes. This doesn’t seem to be a make-or-break issue to me, particularly since I don’t take public transit very often.

  • No one likes to pay more for anything but I think 9 percent after five years is pretty reasonable. That’s less than 2 percent a year. What do people expect? Nothing comes for free.

  • Where is the state transportation plan? Fare hikes should only be considered in the context of all our other transportation needs -- roads, bridges, tunnels, and so forth. When is this state going to get serious -- and I ask that not of just Christie but of the Democrats and business leaders as well. Business coalitions on this issue have been pretty weak, and the Democrats could have tried to stop this in the budget but they didn’t feel the need. Christie may be the No. 1 offender, but there is lots of blame to go around.

  • My concern is the bus-fare hikes. People who take buses are having a very hard time in this economy, and it doesn’t make sense to have them bear the brunt of increased costs. Oh, I forgot, they didn’t vote for Christie so let’s not think about what’s good for the state and stick it to them.

  • Once again, as long as Christie can call it a fare hike and not a tax, it seems to be fair game. We can’t increase a gas tax after 27 years to really fix big transportation problems, but we can get our hands in the pockets of middle-class commuters. This has become really tiresome, and I can’t wait for this charade to be over.

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