N.J. Transit warns of service cuts

    New Jersey rail commuters are in for a rough ride, as the transit agency yesterday said it will likely have to cut services and increase fares in the future.
    Executive Director Jim Weinstein says the nation’s third largest public transit system is planning for a fare hike and service reductions. He says that’s needed to deal with a nearly $33 million cut in its state subsidy and a potential shortfall of $300 million for the next fiscal year.

    New Jersey rail commuters are in for a rough ride, as the transit agency yesterday said it will likely have to cut services and increase fares in the future.

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    Executive Director Jim Weinstein says the nation’s third largest public transit system is planning for a fare hike and service reductions. He says that’s needed to deal with a nearly $33 million cut in its state subsidy and a potential shortfall of $300 million for the next fiscal year.

    Weinstein told a legislative committee in Trenton that just how much fares go up depends on the amount of cost savings that can be achieved.

    Weinstein: We are reviewing every option including reducing payroll and fringe expenses, hedging fuel costs, reducing parts inventories, and other actions to substantially cut overhead and back office costs.

    Groups representing transit users say a fare hike would amount to a tax on commuters and would encourage more people to use cars, adding to traffic congestion and pollution.

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