N.J. Transit May Propose Fare Increase This Month to Mend Budget

New Jersey Transit’s promised fare increase may be proposed as soon as this month, and the agency’s executive director said it would be smaller than the 22 percent hike approved in 2010.

Veronique Hakim said the proposal may be unveiled in the second half of April and will be the subject of a “robust public-comment period.”

The agency’s proposed $2.1 billion budget calls for an additional $81 million in farebox revenue, an increase of almost 9 percent.

Hakim declined to say how large a fare increase is under consideration, and said she was sensitive to the pain the agency caused commuters four years ago.

“I know what a hardship that was,” she told reporters after testifying Thursday in Trenton about the budget.

Hakim said the agency faced a $125 million shortfall in its operating budget when it started planning for the fiscal year that begins July 1, and has since reduced that to $60 million.

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