An impact beyond the wallet

By · Published in 2010

A few weeks ago, New Jersey Transit implemented the largest fare hike in its history as part of an effort to close a $300 million budget gap. The hikes of approximately 25 percent across the board went into effect earlier this month, and today, NJ Transit announced that service cuts will go into effect on May 23. At least two trains per line will be eliminated, and some riders will look to private bus carriers or their personal cars as alternatives. Interestingly, New Jersey Transit anticipates a ridership decline of up to five percent. This figure underscores how service cuts and fare hikes lead to fewer transit riders. Although in New York City, ridership numbers have remained high despite recent fare hikes, at some point, cutting service makes public transit less convenient, and other, less socially-, economically- and environmentally-friendly means of transportation see an uptick in commuters.

2 Responses to “An impact beyond the wallet”

  1. Niccolo Machiavelli says:

    You are looking at differing demand elasticities, one of the many things that distinguish different transit operations.

  2. Rhywun says:

    I used to travel frequently between the PA and Carlstadt, and the one-way fare was $1.90–this was about 4 years ago. I just looked it up and the fare is now a breathtaking $4.25. Apparently I missed a few fare increases in the interim. Anyway, even $4.25 is a pittance if you’re commuting to and from the city compared to driving. I suppose there could be some loss in discretionary trips, but commuting? I doubt it.

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