TRENTON – Super storm Sandy caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to NJ Transit’s rail system, but riders can be assured of one thing: There will not be any fare increase, says the head of the agency.
NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein assured lawmakers Monday that riders will not be forced to pay for the roughly $400 million to $800 million in damages and costs associated with preparations for future storms.
“Absolutely not,” Weinstein responded without hesitation after being asked by a member of the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee if fares would be increased to help pay for the necessary repairs.
“There will be no fare increases to cover the costs (for repairs),” he said.
After being pressed by another Assembly lawmaker on whether riders would end up flipping the bill, Weinstein reiterated his earlier statement.
“There will be no fare increase … for as long as I’m executive director,” Weinstein said.
The head of NJ Transit told lawmakers federal aid will likely cover the cost of repairs to the transit system.
Weinstein was testifying during a committee hearing called to discuss the condition of the state’s transportation infrastructure following the devastation of Sandy.