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Poll: Can the Public Afford to Travel Using Public Transportation?

Is a fare hike on NJ Transit buses and trains really the best way to close a $60 million budget gap?

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.

What do you think?

  • I’m not following all the issues closely and no one likes fare hikes. But then again, we are facing budget problems. This is a natural consequence.

  • It's been years since we had a fare hike and this one only averages 9 percent. The administration has done a good job keeping costs down and we should be grateful. Prices for transportation are going up everywhere -- just look at the New York City subway system. This is a fact of life.

  • This is another example of the Christie administration’s lack of focus on transportation planning. The administration is even counting on a loan payback to the Transportation Trust Fund in order to make its budget look better. We need to stop with the gimmicks and get serious about solutions.

  • I think it unbelievable that people are swallowing this line. State subsidies have dropped tenfold since Christie took office. And his administration had the temerity to brag that it has stabilized prices by raiding dedicated funds like those for clean energy. We need to recognize that we are an urban state and support transit. It starts with having a solid source of funding for the TTF.

  • When you really look at the reasoning here, it is just outrageous. We have one of the lowest gas taxes in the country and haven't raised it since 1998. Is it really because it’s called a “tax” and not a fare hike? The result is that people who struggle and must use the bus system to get around have to continually face increased costs. To my mind, this is just an obvious case of class warfare.

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