New Jersey Transit is confronting a $60 million gap in its operating budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 — and fares could be going up.
The agency has three options to get revenues in line with expenses: improving operating efficiency; making service adjustments; and raising fares, said Ronnie Hakim, New Jersey Transit executive director.
“I know what happened in 2010, which was the last fare increase and averaged 22 percent. That was a hardship for our customers. I’m keenly aware of that,” she said during a Thursday legislative hearing. “Any proposal that we would put on the table would have to be substantially less than that, I think, to be palatable.”
A decision on whether to recommend a fare hike will be made later this month, Hakim said.
“Any proposal that we put out will be subject to a robust public comment period, public hearings throughout the state,” she said. “We’ll make a big effort on that front.”