MTR reported a few months ago that unlike other large US transit systems, New Jersey Transit doesn’t have dedicated funding. That means the system has to rely heavily on fares paid by Garden State transit commuters.
Given the headaches NJ Transit riders have been dealing with lately, you probably wouldn’t be surprised if you read this editorial in today’s Bergen Record:
In a densely populated state like New Jersey, buses and trains aren’t luxuries; they’re necessities. They give poor people who can’t afford a car a way of getting to work. They give students a chance to go to college. They give commuters a means of getting into New York or Philadelphia without having to battle rush-hour traffic. They save energy, time, and money — promoting a whole host of public policies in the process.
It is manifestly unfair to place our mass transit burdens entirely on the shoulders of those who ride our buses and trains, yet that’s exactly what we’re doing. Slowly but surely, we are taking public money away from mass transit and forcing riders to pick up the tab. Riders are already paying 55 percent of New Jersey’s mass transit costs — well above the national average.
Thing is, this didn’t appear in today’s Bergen Record. It was published on March 19, 1981. The only difference is that instead of riders covering 55 percent of NJ Transit’s operating costs, today they pick up 52 percent. Progress.