Tonight, the NJ Transit Board of Directors will vote to adopt the agency’s budget for Fiscal Year 2024. With no source of dedicated funding in the state budget approved last month, the proposed NJ Transit budget continues to raid the Clean Energy Fund and divert capital funds to cover operating expenses. As the agency predicts a nearly $1 billion budget deficit in the coming years, the Murphy administration has signaled that they will prioritize service cuts and fare hikes before they consider additional state funding. In anticipation of tonight’s vote to adopt the budget, and with no movement from state lawmakers to fully fund NJ Transit, New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) releases the following statement.
Alex Ambrose, Policy Analyst, NJPP:
“State lawmakers are failing NJ Transit and the millions of residents who rely on the agency’s buses and trains. Without additional funding from the state, riders are looking at steep fare hikes and service cuts that will have them paying more for less frequent and less reliable service.
“While a post-pandemic budget shortfall is not unique to NJ Transit, it remains the only agency of its size in the country without dedicated funding. It’s not like the money isn’t there. Lawmakers are poised to give the biggest and most profitable corporations a $1 billion tax cut at the end of this year, even though these funds can and should be used to fund NJ Transit. Across the river, New York avoided drastic service cuts by increasing taxes on corporations that benefit from public transit, and there’s no reason New Jersey can’t do the same.”