💲 NJ Transit fares go up 15% across the board on July 1

💲 Middletown will reduce the cost to park at its lots for commuters

💲 Mayor Tony Perry does not think a fare increase will help NJ Transit service

Middletown Township will try to take some of the sting of the upcoming NJ Transit fare increase by reducing the cost of parking at the township’s parking lots used by commuters.

All NJ Transit riders face a 15% fare increase effective July 1 after the Board of Directors took a unanimous vote Wednesday to adopt annual 3% increases. What the agency calls a "fare adjustment" is designed to help close an estimated $119 million budget shortfall in fiscal year 2025 resulting from a significant drop in ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic that has not fully recovered.

The Township Council will introduce an ordinance at Monday's meeting with a public hearing on May 6. Approval of the ordinance would reduce the daily rate from $6 to $5, according to Mayor Tony Perry. The annual rate of  $375 per year to decrease to $315.  A quarterly parking pass will also be offered.

ALSO READ: NJ Transit approves massive increase to train and bus fares

NJ Transit's Middletown station
NJ Transit's Middletown station (Bud McCormick)

Perry: Fare increase will not improve service

For Perry, a Republican,  the increase was yet one more financial burden put on residents by the state and an unfunded mandate on towns.

"I'm just so beyond tired of the complete mismanagement that department after department at the state level has and the constant increase in fees regardless of the economy, regardless of the economic impact that not only the state government has but the federal government has," Perry told New Jersey 101.5. "And then those costs are passed onto the municipalities to forced down the throats of our residents."

Perry is not swayed by NJ Transit and Gov. Phil Murphy's argument that without a fare increase that service could be cut.

"New Jersey Transit is not working today. So what gives me any solace that New Jersey Transit will work on July 2 because you increased fees by 15%? I, for one, do not believe that the service or the speed at which our riders, whether on New Jersey Transit or any other, are going to see any better service because of a 15% increase," Perry said.


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