NJ Transit: Every Line Will Lose At Least Two Trains, Crowding Expected

1 ga0727train ARISTIDENJ Transit’s 270,000 train riders are already noticing changes in their wallets from the 25-percent fare hike that went into effect on May 1. On May 23, they will notice changes at the train platform, when more than 30 trains will be discontinued and wait times are expected to increase. Every line will lose at least two trains. “I suspect that what we may see is some additional crowding on trains,” NJ Transit executive director Jim Weinstein said today. “We will be monitoring that closely.” On May 1, a record-tying 22 percent overall fare hike by NJ Transit — 25 percent for train and interstate bus commuters and 10 percent for local bus and light rail riders — went into effect.

NJ Transit officials anticipated a 3.5 percent to 5 percent drop in ridership, known in transit circles as a “diversion,” as a result of the fare hike.

But Weinstein said the drop-off rate the first week of the fare hike was 2.6 percent, or about 23,000 to 24,000 passenger trips for bus, train and light rail on an average weekday.

“We expected some diversion — that always happens when there is a fare increase,” Weinstein said. “We think it will be a short-term diversion. But that diversion has been considerably less than what we projected — so far … I still think that the service that we provide and the price that we charge are a good bargain for people.”

Joseph M. Clift, who served as director of planning and director of strategic planning for the Long Island Railroad, said people who compare costs might start driving instead of taking the train.

He cited the example of his nephew, who decided it would be more cost-effective to drive from Rockaway, Morris County, to New York City on weekends than to take the train. Clift’s figures had two travelers on a train from Denville to New York paying $56 for two train tickets (the two tickets would have been $38.50 before the fare hike) and $8 for four subway trips, for a total of $64.

By auto, the figure was $44, which included $6 for gas, $8 for tolls and $30 for parking.

But NJ Transit board vice chairman Myron “Mike” Shevell said Clift’s figures didn’t take into account the wear-and-tear on the car and only told “half of the story.” Star Ledger

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  1. With all due respect to Mr Clift people prefer wear and tear on their car to wear and tear to THEMSELVES when buses and trains are jammed.

    Frankly, having been a customer of both LIRR and NJT, I would say LIRR is much better run.

  2. No train to Lakewood (although they’ve been talking about the M-O-M line for the last 20 years, maybe our grandchildren will ride it), but plenty of buses.

    In 5 years from now we’ll be hearing about how congested and destroyed the road system is, and they’ll have to triple the tolls.

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