30 Days Is Not Enough

At our March and April meetings, Coalition members discussed the proposed fare increase and condition changes approved by the NJ Transit Board of Trustees. We have mixed feelings about the 15%
increase—we know how much the agency needs revenue, recognize that it is about half of the 31% that inflation has increased during this time, yet we know that for many workers, this increase will be very difficult.
We also recognize that the FlexPASS, set to end sales on June 30th, is important to workers who go into the office fewer than 5 days a week, but see that a discount used primarily in rush hour is not optimal for the
agency; with more empty seats off-peak, we would prefer to see a volume discount for those times.
What should be easiest to reverse is a new policy that NJ Transit predicts would increase their revenue by $25 million—a number we believe is overly optimistic. Until this policy was suggested, all single-ride tickets have
been good until used, enabling riders to buy tickets when it is convenient, to be used at any time in the future. The current NJ Transit site says that “[f]rom July 1st 2024”, 1-way tickets “for a continuous trip between the stations printed on the ticket. . . . will have a 30-day expiration, and are non-refundable”. We don’t believe that enough people will let tickets expire to add up to $25 million in “revenue”—i.e., money taken in, service never provided. There is another problem with this plan, one more serious than unrealistic projections (which sadly are not uncommon at NJ Transit or other large corporations). That is the effect on customers who buy many tickets at once. Consider one of our LC members who is eligible for a senior/disabled discount ticket. She and other such ticket-holders cannot get a monthly pass at their discount rate, so must purchase single discount
tickets for each trip. Getting to a ticket office can be difficult, so, with a regular commutation schedule, she takes advantage of the occasions when she is near a station with a ticket office to buy many tickets at once,

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