Fare Hikes Are Not the Solution to NJ Transit’s Financial Woes

Lawmakers can fix NJ Transit's looming budget shortfall by reinstating the Corporation Business Tax surcharge, instead of relying on farebox revenue.

Published on Jan 24, 2024

Today, New Jersey transportation officials announced a 15 percent increase in fares for NJ Transit riders as well as a 3 percent annual increase in subsequent years. In a report released in September, New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) outlines the benefits of using the Corporation Business Tax surcharge to fully fund NJ Transit and prevent catastrophic service cuts and fare hikes. The corporate surcharge, which expired on December 31, 2023, targeted the top two percent of corporations with more than $1 million in annual profits, bringing in $1 billion in revenue per year. In response to the proposal, NJPP releases the following statement:

Alex Ambrose, Policy Analyst:

“Drastic fare hikes won’t solve NJ Transit’s structural financial problems, especially when the agency has never had a dedicated funding source. Forcing riders to foot the bill and relying on farebox revenue to bridge the financial gap is not just inequitable, it’s bad policy. Policymakers chose corporations over New Jersey’s working families when they gave ultra-wealthy businesses like Amazon and Walmart a $1 billion tax cut. To prevent additional drastic fare hikes and service cuts, reinstating the Corporation Business Tax surcharge is the smart and practical way to fund NJ Transit. NJ Transit should not operate on the basis of revenue like a business; instead, it should be treated as a public good, and given the investments it needs to thrive.”


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