NJ Transit Fare Hikes Kicked in Today

By Glenn Zimmerman
|  Monday, May 3, 2010  |  Updated 4:08 PM EDT
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Dig Deep: NJ Transit Fare Hikes Kicked in Today

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Fun times.

NJ Transit bus and rail riders started paying more to reach their destinations today -- and whether you ride the bus, light rail or train, chances are you're already feeling the pinch.

Fares went up to 25 percent for rail and intercity bus service and by 10 percent for local bus and light rail. Off-peak discounts have been eliminated.

The agency has said the increases -- the first since fares went up about 9 percent in 2007 -- were made necessary by a $300 million budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year.

But some NJ Transit riders think the prices are going up too fast.

"I am really frustrated because it was $1.90 at first and then it was $2.10 all of a sudden," said Geraldine Lopez, a light rail user from Jersey City.

The fare increase will be especially painful for some. Considering the elimination of off peak round trip discounts, the hike can mean the equivalent of a 45 percent increase for those who travel during those times, according to NJ Transit.

"It was $30 to come in from Hamilton, N.J.," said Joanne Jeffers of Bucks County, Penn. How much did it used to be? $20.50."

While most people already feel the pinch, there was an exception.

"We bought our ticket last week so we were smart," said Jan Kirk of Princeton, N.J.

But unless you have a stockpile of tickets you may have to come up with another option. And one NJ Transit rider has a suggestion.

"Start carpooling," says Bob Zinsman.

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