Proposed legislation is intended to help New Jersey Transit riders who will be hit with a 9 percent fare increase Friday.
State Sen. Ron Rice says one of the bills he and Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia, D-Hudson, are introducing would put a three-year moratorium on fare hikes for the disabled, senior citizens, and college students.
“The majority of the students can barely afford to even go to school with the cost of education,” said Rice, D-Essex. “When you start adding in transportation because you don’t own a car and things like that, there’s got to be some help at the beginning.”
Another measure would give tax credits to employers who provide transit passes to workers to encourage the use of public transportation.
And a third bill would require New Jersey Transit to hold four public hearings before any future fare increase is approved.
“Not only to give more people the opportunity to participate,” Rice said. “But also establish a substantial record of what these commissioners and others are saying in terms of where the money is going and what the people are saying in terms of what they expect.”
Garcia said the bills resonate with his colleagues in the Legislature.
“In listening to a lot of my constituents and surveying them and really attempting to address their hardship we figure we got to do something about this,” he said. “We realize it’s not fair what’s going on.”