Service Cuts on the Sly, Looming Fare Hikes Just Two More Reasons NJ Lawmakers Must Approve S2804

Image: Mathieu Marquer/Flickr

There’s no better time than now for New Jersey legislators to approve S2804, a bill which, if passed, would add two regular riders to New Jersey Transit’s Board of Directors. S2804 is currently awaiting vote by the full Senate.

On July 15, the NJ Transit Board approved a 9 percent fare increase, which will take effect in less than two weeks on October 1. The fare hike was accompanied by a side of service cuts, but what wasn’t on the menu were additional service cuts, which were delivered earlier this week — without any public notice — in the schedule adjustments published on September 13.

NJ Transit originally notified riders of its intent to cut two late night trains: the 12:45 a.m. departure from Hoboken on the Pascack Valley Line; and the 12:32 a.m. departure from Hoboken on the Montclair-Boonton Line. It now appears that late-night trains on the Morris and Essex and Gladstone lines were also cut, making the last train out of Manhattan at 12:34 a.m. and 11:35 p.m. respectively.

Why didn’t NJ Transit alert their customers they’d be making additional cuts? According to Bloomberg, “federal law didn’t require public notice.” In other words, NJ Transit, an agency that describes itself as “dedicated to our customers’ needs and committed to excellence,” could have put their customers’ needs first and notified them of the coming change. But because the law didn’t require it, they put themselves first.

There’s no guarantee that having two regular transit riders on the NJ Transit Board of Directors would make this sort of practice disappear overnight, but it would certainly be a step in the right direction.

1 Comment on "Service Cuts on the Sly, Looming Fare Hikes Just Two More Reasons NJ Lawmakers Must Approve S2804"

  1. ALL transit agencies routinely make service adjustments that do not require public hearings. However, it was my understanding that if an agency cut the first or last trips of the day (in contrast to an adjustment of a few minutes)on a route a hearing was necessary unless alternate service was available. (In this instance, it could have been a transfer at Newark and/or Summit to a Gladstone Shuttle, for example) or a bus alternative as has been done overnight on the Atlantic City Line. That is why there were hearings held for some of the bus routes where only the last trip of the day was being cut.

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