Should NJ Transit raise fares, cut service? What NJ residents say
🚄 NJ Transit could soon be broke: Where should their funding come from?
🚄 Some riders think NJ Transit provides good service, a few think it’s great
🚄 Ridership is still lagging
As ridership continues to lag pre-pandemic levels NJ Transit is facing a looming fiscal shortfall, possibly close to $1 billion by 2026, and agency officials are looking at all options, including fare hikes and service cuts.
Most Jersey residents are turning thumbs down on both of those options.
According to Ashley Koning, the director of the Rutgers Eagleton poll most New Jerseyans favor increasing state aid to stabilize funding and avert an NJ Transit budget shortfall as opposed to cutting service or raising fares.
“54% strongly oppose and another 24% somewhat oppose cutting services, likewise 39% strongly oppose and another 28% somewhat oppose raising fares,” she said.
A total of 19% support fare hikes
What about state aid?
She said when it comes to increasing state aid 34% strongly support this option as a way to fund NJ Transit in the future, and 32% somewhat support it.
The survey finds 29% of state residents oppose using state aid to support the operation of the agency.
Koning said what’s become clear is ‘New Jerseyans don’t want to see their own lives impacted, especially when it comes to those who actually use the mass transit system.”
She said while the survey finds a majority of every demographic group opposes cutting services and raising fares “we see Republicans and individuals who report never using public transportation, which is almost half of New Jerseyans, are less opposed to cutting services compared to their counterparts.”
She noted men and those in households making $100,000 or more annually are less likely than their counterparts to oppose raising transit fares
Koning said “when we talk about state direct aid over half of almost every group strongly supports increasing direct state aid in order to stabilize the NJ Transit budget
How’s the service?
She said the poll finds “about 5% rate the state’s mass transit system as excellent, 35% say it’s good, 31% only fair and 14% poor while 16% are unsure.”
She said among those who use NJ Transit at least a couple of times a year, about half the Jersey population, rates public transportation in the state as good and another 30% rate it as only fair.
A total of 1,002 adults were contacted by live interviewers on landlines and cellphones from April 27 to May 5 for the poll, which has a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points.