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 balancing his budget on the backs of the middle class and poor, rather than finding easy solutions such as a gas or millionaire’s tax.
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