Assembly Transportation Committee Chairman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville) challenged Gov. Christopher Christie on his vow to cut state subsidies for New Jersey Transit, saying it would hurt the state’s entire transportation network.
“What this means is that New Jersey Transit has to look at cutting services or raising fares drastically. Any way you look at it, if they cut service, you’re going to have more cars on the road, you’re going to overtax our already overtaxed transportation network,” said Wisniewski, who also chairs the state Democratic Party. “If they raise fares, you’re putting a tax on the working families, many of whom use New Jersey Transit because they have no other option. It’s unfair to the people of the State of New Jersey.”
Christie has promised not to raise the gas tax or increase tolls, but in his budget address today acknowledge that New Jersey Transit might “have to consider service reductions or fare increases,” in addition to improving its efficiency, revisiting union contracts and ending patronage hiring.
Wisniewski said that Christie was sending an “inconsistent message.”
“The Governor may believe there’s an internal consistency where he’s saying no to everything, but the reality is if you’re not going to fund the roads, if you’re not going to fund the highways, mass transit is one way to move people without relying on those roadways,” When you start saying now we’re not going to fund mass transit, it’s really saying to the people of New Jersey that you’re on your own. I’m not really interested in how you get to work. Take care of yourself.”