New Jersey Transit riders -- already dealing with a 25-percent fare increase -- will now have to deal with reduced service.
The nation's third-largest provider of bus, rail and light rail transit plans to cut at least two trains from each line beginning May 23. More than 30 trains will be discontinued -- and NJ Transit's 270,000 daily train commuters might find more crowded cars and longer waits.
The service cutbacks come after NJ Transit raised fares earlier this month to offset a budget gap.
Executive director James Weinstein says there was a 2.6 percent drop-off in bus, rail and light rail passengers in the first week of the fare hike. Officials had anticipated a drop in ridership of up to 5 percent -- a process called "diversion" in transit circles. It happens when riders figure it'll cost them less to drive or find alternate routes to the train.
"We expected some diversion — that always happens when there is a fare increase," said NJ Transit executive director Jim Weinstein. "I still think that the service that we provide and the price that we charge are a good bargain for people."
Visit New Jersey Transit's official website for more information on the train changes.